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Manitoba Expands Pfizer Vaccine Eligibility to 12 and Up

May 14, 2021 9:08 AM | News

Coronavirus Vaccine

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Dr. Joss Reimer

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead, Manitoba Vaccine Implementation Task Force, speaks about COVID-19 vaccination initiatives and answers media questions during a COVID-19 live-streamed press conference at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba is expanding the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to young people aged 12 to 17, effectively immediately.

The province is becoming one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to allow children to receive the vaccine, which will be available at supersites and urban Indigenous clinics.

“The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been tested and reviewed, and found to be safe for older children,” said Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead, Vaccine Implementation Task Force.

“If you’re eligible today and you have questions about the vaccine, that’s completely normal and understandable. We have good information to answer your questions, you can ask a trusted adult or your health-care provider, or you can look for reliable sources online. If there is one message I want to share, it is this: when we are immunized, we slow the spread of COVID-19. We protect ourselves and the people around us, so we can get back to the activities and the people we love.”

All eligible young people aged 12 and older or their parent, guardian or caregiver can book an appointment by calling 1-844-626-8222 or online at ProtectMB.ca.

The province says it’s ideal for those aged 12 to 15 to attend the appointment with a parent, guardian or caregiver or have their parent sign their consent form ahead of time to bring along to make the visit as easy as possible. However, if the youth attends without a guardian and without a signed consent form, they can go through an informed consent process with a clinical lead to assess their ability to consent on their own and proceed with the vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine was approved by Health Canada for use in children aged 12-15 on May 5. It had previously been approved in people aged 16 and older last December.

There are approximately 111,000 young people aged 12 to 17 in Manitoba.