Vaccines approved for children and youth aged 12 and older

UPDATE October 4, 2021: Our clinic does not provide vaccination exemption letters.

Facts about the vaccine

Health Canada has authorized the following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for youth aged 12 and older:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine

People aged 12 to 17 may receive the same 2-dose schedule recommended for adults.

When deciding about vaccine, parents and guardians need to know these facts:

  • In Alberta, eligibility for vaccine is based on year of birth and not just age. That is why some 11 year olds can get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine if they were born in 2009 and will be turning 12 before the end of the year.
  • Even though most children do not get really sick from COVID-19 infection, some children with serious health problems are more likely to be hospitalized than are other children if they are infected. We do not know the specific risk for every given medical problem.
  • Information we have right now shows that the vaccine works as well in children in this age group as it does in adults.

Importance of vaccination

Although children and youth are less likely to get really sick from COVID-19, they can still:

  • get sick from COVID-19
  • be infected and not have any symptoms
  • spread COVID-19 to others
  • experience longer-term effects if they do get infected

Children and youth with certain underlying medical conditions may have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines help the body fight off the virus. Once fully vaccinated, people who get infected with COVID-19 will likely have no symptoms or mild symptoms. Like adults, youth are well protected against severe illness 14 days after their second dose. Those who have already had COVID-19 may still get vaccinated to protect themselves from getting it again.

Millions of people aged 12 to 17 have received COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. High rates of vaccination coverage across the country is key to:

  • controlling the spread of the virus
  • protecting people from severe illness
  • ending the crisis phase of the pandemic in Canada
  • helping everyone return to normal activities.

Possible side effects

Side effects are part of the body’s natural response to a vaccine.

Some people have no side effects while others may have some type of reaction. Reactions are most often mild and go away by themselves within hours or days.

Common vaccine side effects may include:
Symptoms at the injection site, such as:Flu-like symptoms, such as:
  • redness
  • soreness
  • swelling
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • joint pain
  • headache
  • mild fever
  • muscle aches

                                                                                 Source: Canada Vaccines for Children  |   October 4, 2021