COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 - Appointments and FAQs

Updated November 25, 2021

Book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for Ages 5-11 online

Important Note: Drop-ins are NOT being accepted for ages 5-11 COVID-19 vaccinations. Please make an appointment.

How parents/caregivers can book an appointment

  1. Contact your primary care provider
    • If you have a doctor or other primary care provider, please contact them first. If they are vaccinating 5-11s with the COVID-19 vaccine, they will provide information on when and how you can book an appointment.
    •  The following Family Health Teams are booking through Public Health’s online booking system. (No need to call, go directly to Public Health’s appointment booking.)
      • Guelph Family Health Team: Appointments can be booked through Public Health either online or by calling 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006.
      • Upper Grand Family Health Team: Clinics will be hosted at the Fergus Sportsplex on Saturdays and Sundays in December. Public Health will be calling patients to book these appointments or you can call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006. Visit uppergrandfht.org/vaccinatekids for a list of practices and clinic dates.
    • The following Family Health Teams have their own booking procedures as per below.
  2. Book an appointment with Public Health
    • If you do not have a primary care provider or you have confirmed they are not vaccinating 5-11s with the COVID-19 vaccine, you can contact Public Health to book an appointment by calling 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006 or book an appointment online.
  3. Contact a Participating Pharmacy
    • You can book an appointment for your child through a participating pharmacy. To find a pharmacy location near your home, visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations. Visit the pharmacy website or call to see if they are booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments for ages 5-11.

Upcoming Webinars for Parents and Caregivers

  • Virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Information Night for Parents and Caregivers, with Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, Associate Medical Officer of Health

Latest Updates

Health Canada Approval and NACI Statement
What is the anticipated start date for vaccinating children ages 5-11?

Doctors, primary care providers, pharmacies and Public Health are prepared to start vaccinating as soon as the pediatric doses are delivered to our region, which is anticipated to middle of the week of November 22, 2021.

Where will vaccinations be taking place?

WDGPH is working with primary care, pharmacies and other local partners to allow families to access the vaccine as soon as it becomes available in our region.

  • Doctor or primary care provider
    • Children may be able make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine at their doctor or primary care provider.
    • Many Local Family Health Teams and primary care providers are prepared to begin vaccinating children ages 5-11 as soon as the vaccine is available. Some are already beginning to contact parents and caregivers to book an appointment.
    • If you have a family doctor, please reach out to them with any questions you may have or to book an appointment.
  • Pharmacy
    • Many local pharmacies will be providing COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. Once pharmacies receive the pediatric dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you can make an appointment at a participating pharmacy.
  • Public Health clinics
    • Public Health will be hosting clinics to vaccinate children ages 5-11 starting at the end of November 2021.
    • Parents and caregivers will be able to book appointments online or over the phone. More information about this process will be shared shortly.
    • In addition to our hub site clinics in Guelph (Stone Road Mall), Fergus (the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex) and Orangeville (Alder Street Arena), Public Health will also host mobile clinics across our region and specialized clinics for populations who need additional accommodations.

About the pediatric vaccine, dosage, safety and efficacy

What COVID-19 vaccine will my child receive?

Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech (also known as Comirnaty®) COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 and this is the vaccine your child will receive.

No shortage of vaccines is expected and all children ages 5-11 are expected to be eligible to be vaccinated at the same time.

What dose of the vaccine will children ages 5-11 receive?

National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended the following:

  • Children ages 5-11 will receive a pediatric dose of 10 micrograms, which is one third (1/3) of the dose given to age 12+.
  • Two doses is recommended.
  • The interval between doses is recommended to be eight weeks.

How effective is the vaccine for children?

The clinical trial data showed that vaccination with two doses was 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 among children ages 5-11, including the Delta variant. Children have a stronger immune response to vaccines and the smaller dose provides similar levels of protective antibodies as the adult vaccine produced in adults aged 16-25.

What are the common side effects?

The most common side effect is a sore arm (pain, swelling and/or redness at the site of injection).

Other side effects that your child may experience as their bodies are building up protection include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea. These will go away within a few days.

Some children have no side effects.

What are the serious side effects?

No new serious side effects were seen in the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty®) vaccine trials for children.

A severe allergic reaction (called “anaphylaxis”) after vaccination, is extremely rare (0.0002 - 0.0008%, or 2-8 per million doses for age 12+) and when it does happen, vaccination providers have medicines available that they can use to effectively and immediately treat the reaction.

You will be asked to stay for 15-30 minutes after you get your vaccine so your child can be observed and provided treatment in the rare case it is needed.

Could there be any long-term side effects?

Long-term side effects are not expected from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. mRNA does not stay in the cell longer than needed to generate immunity and is expelled from the body within a few days to a week.

Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects tend to happen within the first six weeks after vaccination and safety data submitted for children ages 5-11 includes data for a minimum of two months following the second dose. Safety monitoring is ongoing by both Health Canada, PHAC and monitoring agencies around the world.

Do I need to worry about myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart) after COVID-19 vaccination?

Myocarditis and pericarditis are rare side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine. This type of inflammation happens most frequently in young males after their second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and in most cases can be treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medicines. While there is a small risk of this condition after vaccination, the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis is much higher among those who contract COVID-19.

Very rare cases of inflammation have been reported after COVID-19 vaccination. Cases reported were more commonly adolescent and young males after the second dose. Cases experienced mild illness and responded well to treatment and rest and symptoms improved quickly.

No cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were reported in the clinical trial for children ages 5–11 years.

Myocarditis and pericarditis happen more often in people with COVID-19 infection.

For more information, visit:

Importance of getting children vaccinated against COVID-19

What are the risks of COVID-19 infection in children? Aren’t most cases mild for kids?

So far, most children infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms. However, even though the risk of serious illness or death is low in children, the risk is not zero and some children develop severe disease and require hospitalization.

Children who get a mild or severe case of COVID-19 are at risk of getting myocarditis/pericarditis, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) (most common in children aged 5 to 11) and/or long covid (i.e. lasting symptoms after COVID-19 infection like tiredness, headaches, sore throat and loss of taste/smell.)

Children with underlying chronic medical conditions are also at greater risk for a more severe case of COVID-19.

It is difficult to know how COVID-19 infection may affect each child.

What are the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for children?

The risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in our community remains high. A COVID-19 vaccine can prevent your child from getting sick with COVID-19 and from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others.

Ontario data has shown that the majority of people who get seriously sick with COVID-19 (e.g., are hospitalized or in the ICU) are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can also help keep your child in school and more safely participate and play with other children during playdates, sleepovers and while playing sports and other group activities. Vaccine protection can also help prevent spreading the virus to family members at higher risk or who are unable to be vaccinated.

I am leaning towards waiting to see how vaccinations go before I vaccinate my children. Why should I vaccinate my kids now?

Parents and caregivers are urged to get their children vaccinated as soon as it is available to them.

My child already had COVID-19, do they still need to get vaccinated? What about natural immunity?

Your child may have some immunity if they already had COVID-19, but it is unclear how long it will last or how effective a natural immune response may be. It will vary from person to person. The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect your child against re-infection and develop a stronger immune response.

Preparing for your child to get vaccinated

What should I do to prepare for my child’s appointment?

Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/vaccine-prep for what to do to prepare for your vaccine appointment.

How can I request accessibility, accommodation or language supports for my child’s vaccine appointment at Public Health?

To request accessibility, accommodation and/or language supportat your vaccine appointment, please call us at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4020 or emailaccess@wdgpublichealth.ca at least two business days before your scheduled appointment if possible.

Can/should I give my child pain relievers before getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

It is not recommended you give pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent side effects. However, numbing skin patches or creams from a pharmacy can help children who are worried about pain.

Can my child get vaccinated with other vaccines at the same time as COVID-19?

According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI), in people aged 12 years old and older, COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as, or anytime before or after, other vaccines, including the influenza (flu) vaccine.

For children 5-11, NACIs recommendation is to wait 14 days before or after receiving other vaccines, such as the flu vaccine. This is a precautionary recommendation to monitor any side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine or another vaccine.

If your child has received or requires other vaccines within 14 days of the COVID-19 vaccine, speak with your child’s health care provider about the timing.

My child has allergies. Can they safely get the COVID-19 vaccine?

If your child has allergies that are unrelated to vaccines or injectable medications (e.g., types of food, pets) it is still recommended your child receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

If your child is allergic to an ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine or has had a previous allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable medicine, talk to your doctor about whether your child should be vaccinated.

My child is immunocompromised. Is it safe to receive the vaccine?

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus and therefore they can be given safely to immunocompromised patients. Talk to your doctor about your child’s specific condition for more information.

CARD system and resources to help with fear and anxiety

What can I expect at a Public Health clinic to help with fear and anxiety (CARD system)?

Public Health clinics are implementing the CARD system (Comfort, Ask, Relax, Distract) to help lower stress or anxiety and create a more positive vaccine experience.

Comfort – find ways to be comfortable:

  • The walls of the vaccine rooms will be decorated with child-friendly posters and artwork to make the area more visually pleasing to children.
  • Children will have the option to sit on their own, lay down or sit on a parent/caregiver’s lap to receive their vaccination.

Ask – ask questions to be prepared:

  • Write down any questions you or your child may have and ask as many as you like before, during and after vaccination.

Relax – keep yourself calm:

  • All family members will be welcome at the appointment and Public Health will accommodate multiple family members being vaccinated together.
  • Public Health clinics are being updated to offer more privacy to families of children being vaccinated – with privacy screens where multiple vaccinations are taking place, and private rooms in locations where possible.

Distract – shift your attention:

  • Distraction aids will be provided, or children can bring their own comfort/distraction items.

About Kids Health – Nervous about getting needles (pdf) has more ideas to help at your appointment or visit cardsystem.ca

What resources are available to help prepare my child and reduce stress, anxiety, fear of needles and/or pain?

Here are some helpful and evidence-based resources to help prepare your child for the vaccine:

Reliable information sources

Trusted and reliable sources of COVID-19 vaccine information for kids

NOTE: Check back to these resources as information will be updated as it comes available in Canada.