COVID-19 vaccine shot bookings for kids 5 to 11 begins Tuesday

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Parents in Ontario can begin booking COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 on Tuesday, with shots expected to begin Thursday.

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Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Monday it would take a few days to distribute two shipments of pediatric Pfizer vaccines to health units, primary care clinics and pharmacies.

“We’re going to be shipping them immediately,” she told a news conference, adding that shots for children “light at the end of the tunnel” with about a third of daily COVID cases among school-age children.

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“It speaks to the need.”

Ontario is getting shipments of more than 400,000 doses on Monday and more than 600,000 on Tuesday — enough to cover nearly 1 million children.

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Bookings begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday through the provincial immunization portal, regional public health units using their own booking systems and participating pharmacies.

To book online, children must be 5 years old by the end of 2021.

In keeping with the guidance of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, a second dose for children will be available eight weeks after their first, an interval intended to provide optimal immunity.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter who covers Ontario politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @RobFerguson1

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