Vaccines for children: COVID-19 vaccination 

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Impacts of COVID-19 on children and youth

Most children and youth who get COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms. However, some, including previously healthy children:

Children and youth at higher risk

Children and youth with certain underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. It's especially important for children who are at higher risk to stay up to date with recommended vaccines.

Those underlying medical conditions include:

If you don't know if your child is at increased risk of severe outcomes, talk to a health care provider.

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When to vaccinate children and youth

All children 6 months of age and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.

The updated vaccine is now the recommended vaccine for all COVID-19 vaccinations.

For those previously vaccinated, a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is recommended 6 months after the previous dose. Shorter intervals (such as 3 months to less than 6 months) aren't expected to pose a safety risk.

Vaccination after infection

Vaccination is important, even if your child has had COVID-19. While infection alone provides some protection, vaccination after infection:

If they've never been vaccinated before, children and youth can wait about 2 months after testing positive to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

If they've been previously vaccinated, children and youth can wait 6 months after testing positive to receive their next COVID-19 vaccine. Shorter intervals (such as 3 months to less than 6 months) aren't expected to pose a safety risk.

Contact your health care provider or local public health unit:

Possible side effects

After being vaccinated, it's common to have some type of reaction because the body is working to develop an immune response. Reactions are most often mild and go away by themselves within hours to a few days. Some people have no reaction at all.

Symptoms where the injection was given include:

General symptoms include:

The use of COVID-19 vaccines in children throughout the world continues to show that these vaccines are safe. Serious reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine in children and youth are very rare.

Inflammation of the muscles (myocarditis) or lining (pericarditis) of the heart is a potentially serious reaction that may occur after COVID-19 vaccination. It has occurred mainly in youth and young adults, and very rarely in children 5 to 11 years of age. In most cases, symptoms resolve quickly after seeking medical care.

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Safety and monitoring

COVID-19 vaccines are tested and studied during their development and then carefully reviewed by Health Canada. Only vaccines that are approved after Health Canada's safety, effectiveness and quality review are used in Canada.

Once a vaccine has been approved, Health Canada continues to monitor its safety and effectiveness by working with:

Canada has a strong vaccine safety monitoring system that continually works to detect rare side effects. If rare side effects are identified, Health Canada determines what actions are required.

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