Destination Normal: The COVID-19 Vaccine for Youth
Vaccinations are available NOW to everyone 5 years of age and older. You can book an appointment, or come to one of our walk-in clinics without an appointment. Find out how here!
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for Canadians 5 years of age and older. The vaccine is voluntary, safe, and provides excellent protection against getting or spreading COVID-19. Here are some important things to know about the vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine is a key factor in helping us do the things we love.
Getting vaccinated will help protect ourselves, our friends and our loved ones from COVID-19. Click here to learn how you can get a COVID-19 vaccine in our area.
The vaccine helps our body build immunity and decreases our chance of spreading COVID-19 to others.
All vaccines work by teaching our body how to recognize and fight off infections. The COVID-19 vaccine does this by presenting our body with something that looks similar to the COVID-19 virus, so that our immune system can learn how to recognize it and produce its own natural protection. This natural protection then helps to keep us from becoming sick if we come in contact with the real COVID-19 virus in the future.
Millions of COVID-19 vaccines have already been given to youth worldwide and are proven to work well and be very safe.
In clinical trials (the testing phase of the vaccine development process), the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was shown to be highly effective in children, as well as in adults.
For the best and longest-lasting protection, it’s very important that you get both doses of the vaccine. A booster dose will help further protect you from more severe outcomes from COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
You may experience temporary side effects, although not everyone experiences them.
Other than being one step closer to normal activities (YAY!), like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines may cause some side effects. They’re usually mild and clear up in a few hours or days. For example, you might have a bit of soreness in your arm where you received the vaccine. You might also have some tiredness, chills, a mild headache, achiness, or a low fever. These are positive signs that the vaccine is beginning to work.
Know that serious side effects are extremely rare. Clinic staff are prepared to manage a severe allergic reaction should it occur. If you experience side effects that are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days, talk to your parents or caregivers and contact your healthcare provider.
It’s important to continue following public health measures.
It’s important to continue following public health measures to stop the spread of the virus and stay safe – even if you’ve received the vaccine. This means staying home when sick, and washing your hands often.
The risk of transmission is higher in crowded indoor places and when in close contact with people who are not vaccinated or who are sick. Consider masking or distancing in these situations. Respect the risk tolerance and masking decisions of others.
It’s normal to have questions about the vaccine.
Having questions is normal and healthy. While there is a lot of information on the Internet and social media, not all of it is accurate. If you’re looking for information about COVID-19 vaccines, be sure to rely on trusted, expert sources. Reach out to your parents, a trusted adult and/or your family doctor, pediatrician or nurse practitioner.
Below are some websites with information that has been fact-checked and verified by Ontario health experts.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Youth – Information in multiple languages for youth, including answers to frequently asked questions
COVID-19 vaccines for youth – Practical information on:
- Why you should get vaccinated
- Booking an appointment
- Getting the vaccine
- After vaccination, and more
SickKids: COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service (Website only in English, but service available in multiple languages by calling 1-888-304-6558.)