COVID-19 vaccination now available for children 6 months to under 5 years: SMDHU

Two doses of the vaccine are recommended, with at least eight weeks (56 days) between the first and second doses

News release from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

As of July 28, parents and caregivers can book appointments for their children aged six months to under five years to receive their paediatric COVID-19 vaccine by using the COVID-19 vaccination portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or by visiting participating pharmacies in Simcoe and Muskoka.

“We are very pleased that children aged six months to under five years are now able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health. “Evidence shows that the lower-dose paediatric Moderna Spikevax vaccine is safe and offers protection from risks of severe illness and hospitalization should they contract COVID-19. I encourage all parents and caregivers to consider getting their younger children vaccinated as soon as they are able, particularly if they have underlying health concerns or are immunocompromised.”

The Moderna Spikevax (25 mcg) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada for use in children six months to under the age of five years. In keeping with provincial guidance that is informed by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), children must be six months to under five years of age to receive the paediatric Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended, with at least eight weeks (56 days) between the first and second doses. It is advised that children who have recently had COVID-19 wait to receive their vaccine until eight weeks after the start of symptoms or testing positive. A wait of 14 days between receiving another vaccine and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is also advised for this age group.

As with any medical decision, SMDHU encourages parents and caregivers to make an informed choice about this vaccine, including speaking with their health care provider to discuss what is best for their child or contacting the SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service and booking an appointment to speak with a registered nurse. Information and resources, including ways to make the vaccination experience a positive one, is available on the health unit’s website.

Vaccination for all those who are eligible, including our youngest community members, offers the most important layer of protection against severe illness from COVID-19. Along with vaccination, the health unit continues to strongly recommend that people take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including choosing outdoor activities and socializing outside if possible, wearing a mask in indoor public settings, limiting your number of close contacts, physically distancing from people outside your household, ensuring good ventilation, and practicing proper hand hygiene. If you are feeling unwell, stay home and get tested if you have access to either rapid antigen tests or are eligible for PCR testing.