- Who’s eligible and how to book
- Children 12 and older
- Children 5 to 11
- Children under 5
- Considerations for parents
- COVID-19 in children
- Child cases in Alberta
- Vaccine safety
- Approval process
- Side effects
- Adverse effects
- Severe allergies
- Puberty and young immune systems
- After vaccination
- Takes time to build immunity
- Rules for fully vaccinated
- Parent resources
- Helpful links
- Videos: Hear what the experts say about vaccines for children
- Common questions
- Why should children get vaccinated?
- How many children get infected with COVID-19?
- Why is natural immunity not adequate protection?
- What are the common side effects in children?
- What is risk of heart problems after vaccination?
- What vaccine will my child receive if they are almost 12 years old?
Connecting parents to expert advice and helpful resources on vaccines for children.
Who’s eligible and how to book
All vaccines approved for children require 2 doses at least 8 weeks apart to be fully protected. Minors under 18 require verbal or written consent from a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.
See more: Covid 19 alberta vaccine
Children 12 and older
- How to book:
- Book online (AHS clinic or pharmacy)
- Call 811 or visit a walk-in clinic
Children 5 to 11
- How to book:
- Book online (AHS clinics only)
- Call 811 Health Link
- About the vaccine:
- Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine following a regulatory review. It is also approved in the U.S.
- The children’s dose is 1/3 of the regular vaccine (10 mcg per dose instead of 30 mcg).
- It is 90.7% effective in preventing illness and no serious side effects were identified.
- Children are recommended to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine. Routine school immunizations can continue as scheduled.
Children under 5
- Clinical trials are underway. Results are expected in 2022.
- How to book:
Considerations for parents
COVID-19 in children
- Most cases in children are milder than adults, but some kids can get very sick, have long-lasting symptoms (Long COVID), or complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
- Children can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms, potentially risking vulnerable friends, family or community members.
- Each person infected with COVID-19 provides a chance for the virus to mutate and become more resistant to treatments or vaccines. Fewer infections means less chance of dangerous variants.
- The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends eligible children be vaccinated. While kids have a lower risk of severe illness, vaccines offer the best protection from getting or spreading COVID-19.
- Since COVID-19 is a new virus, no one has pre-existing immunity.
- Immunity for people who have had COVID-19 may not last long and it’s not as strong as vaccine protection.
- Unvaccinated people are twice as likely to get infected again, compared to people who had been vaccinated after infection.
Child cases in Alberta
- Alberta statistics as of January 27, 2022:
- 19% of all cases in Alberta were in children and youth 5 to 19
- <1% were hospitalized (408 5 to 19 year olds, including 60 in ICU)
- 0.05% of vaccinated 5 to 19 year olds reported an adverse event (allergic reaction, fever, pain or swelling)
- 5 to 19 year olds are 16 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than from an adverse event following vaccination.
- All vaccines approved in Canada undergo a review and approval process to ensure they are safe and effective.
- It’s normal to have minor side effects after vaccination – it’s a sign your immune system is responding to the vaccine.
- Common side effects include muscle aches, fatigue, mild fever, and pain at injection site.
- No safety concerns were identified during the clinical trials for 5 to 11 year olds.
- Overall, serious side effects from vaccination are rare. 99.98% of vaccines administered in Alberta to date had no serious side effects.
- Very rare cases of heart inflammation (myocarditis and pericarditis) have been reported in some young people 16 to 29. The cases are typically mild and are treatable. Heart damage is far more likely after COVID-19 infection than after vaccination.
- The vaccines do not contain egg, latex or preservatives.
- The only time someone should not get a COVID-19 vaccine is if they are allergic to specific ingredients in the vaccine. Speak to your doctor if you have questions about your childs’ allergies.
- COVID-19 vaccines do not affect fertility now or later.
Puberty and young immune systems
- The vaccine works with the natural function of human immune systems – it will not change anything that is already occurring in the body.
- mRNA molecules exist naturally in human bodies. Researchers have been studying mRNA technology for 15 years to treat cancer, muscular dystrophy and other diseases.
- mRNA vaccines teach the body to trigger an immune response and produce antibodies to fight a virus.
Takes time to build immunity
- It takes 2 weeks after the first dose to develop some protection against COVID-19, and 2 weeks after the second dose to be considered fully vaccinated with the best protection.
Rules for fully vaccinated
- It’s important to continue following public health measures for the best chance to end this pandemic:
- Stay home if sick
- Wear a mask in indoor public spaces
- Practice good hygiene – wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes
- Stay 2 metres apart from people outside your household
If you have questions or concerns, contact your family doctor or call 811 to speak with a health professional.
- Vaccines for children town hall recording
- Dr. Hinshaw letter to parents and guardians
- AHS COVID-19 vaccine info for children under 12
- AHS Commitment to Comfort – Overcoming needle fear
- Canadian Paediatric Society – COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth
- Government of Canada – COVID-19 vaccines for children
Videos: Hear what the experts say about vaccines for children
Where can I find accurate information?
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Where to find accurate information on vaccines for children
- Dr. Ben Sivarajan – Where can we find accurate info on vaccines for children?
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Where vaccine misinformation begins
How does COVID-19 affect kids?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – How is COVID impacting kids right now?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – Are kids at greater risk of getting COVID-19 now?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – What are the long term effects of COVID-19 on kids?
Why should vaccination be considered?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – Why should parents have their kids immunized?
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Why kids need the COVID-19 vaccine
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Why vaccinating kids will help end the pandemic
- Dr. Ben Sivarajan – Will vaccines help my kid go back to a normal life?
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Risks of COVID-19 versus the vaccine
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Getting his own child vaccinated
View more: Alert-Level Systems for COVID-19
Are vaccine safe?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – Is the vaccine safe for kids?
- Dr. Ben Sivarajan – Are vaccines safe for kids?
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Why COVID-19 vaccines are safe
What are the vaccine side effects?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – What are the potential side effects?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – Why are we hearing more about COVID vaccine effects?
- Dr. Ben Sivarajan – Should I worry about vaccines and heart inflammation?
How can I help kids afraid of needles?
- Dr. Cora Constantinescu – How can parents support kids during immunization?
- Dr. Bruce Wright – Helping ease kids’ fear of needles
Why should children get vaccinated?
- While many children experience mild symptoms, some can get very sick and experience complications or long-lasting symptoms. While rare, it can also cause death in children.
- Children can also transmit the virus to others, even when they don’t have symptoms.
- Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect your child and help prevent them from spreading the virus to family, friends and community members.
How many children get infected with COVID-19?
- Children in Canada currently make up about:
- 30% of cases in most provinces
- 2% of hospitalizations
- COVID-19 is in the top 10 cause of death for children.
Why is natural immunity not adequate protection?
- While having had COVID-19 offers some protection, it may not last very long or be as effective against variants.
- Getting fully vaccinated offers the best protection.
What are the common side effects in children?
- The vaccine is well tolerated in children. Most side effects are mild and are a sign the immune system is responding to the vaccine.
- These side effects include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headaches, chills, joint and muscle pain, and fever.
What is risk of heart problems after vaccination?
- Reports of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation) after vaccination are extremely rare. The cases are typically mild and are treatable.
- The risk of heart problems is much higher after COVID-19 infection than after vaccination.
- Speak with your health-care provider or call 811 if you have questions about vaccinating your child.
What vaccine will my child receive if they are almost 12 years old?
- Children are recommended to receive the vaccine dose that has been approved for their age at the time of administration.
- Your child will receive a second dose of the pediatric vaccine if they are still under 12 when they present for their second vaccination appointment.
- If your child gets their first dose at age 11, they will get the pediatric vaccine for dose one. If they turn 12 by the time of their second dose, they will receive the adolescent/adult vaccine for dose 2.
- If your child is 12 or older, they will receive 2 doses of the adolescent/adult vaccine.
- It is recommended that both children and adults wait at least 8 weeks between dose 1 and dose 2 of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.