Ontario’s Solicitor General reaffirmed on Tuesday that the province will be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to people as young as twelve after that age group was approved for the shot by Health Canada.
Sylvia Jones says the province will check on the vaccine supply and consult with local health units before opening the shots to younger teens.
The province has set May 24 as the date when those 18 and older can begin booking. The younger group will likely become eligible sometime after that date.
Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old last week.
Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott said the province is “actively” working on a plan to vaccinate children in the aforementioned age group but Elliott, like Jones, did not provide a firm timeline for that plan.
Elliott said Ontario’s rollout could see children aged 12 and older offered their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in schools, with a second dose given before the new school year begins in September.
The vaccine was initially approved for use in those aged 16 and older in December, and Health Canada received an application from Pfizer to expand the age threshold on April 16 of this year.
Waterloo Public Health became the first PHU to expand its vaccine rollout and lower its age eligibility to include teenagers as young as 12.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is approved for anyone 18 years of age and older.
Everyone 12-plus can pre-register for the vaccine on the Region of Waterloo website: COVID-19 Vaccination Pre-registration.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was the first to announce that starting this week, his hard-hit province would make the vaccines available to everyone aged 12 and up.
Manitoba followed suit saying it aims to have those 12 and up eligible to book the shot by May 21.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday lowered the age that people can receive Pfizer’s vaccine in the United States to 12.
On the FDA’s website, the agency’s acting commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said the move to lower the eligible age for a first shot was “a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”