COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) takes vaccine safety and the health and well-being of all Canadians very seriously. NACI thoroughly reviews clinical trial data and scientific evidence for COVID-19 vaccines before deciding whether or not to recommend vaccination for specific populations.

NACI recommends the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty® COVID-19 vaccine (10 mcg) for children 5 to 11 years of age.

Children 5 to 11 years of age can now  get the COVID-19 vaccine. Initially, vaccinations will be offered at COVID-19 Immunization Clinics across the province on dedicated dates and times at each clinic to support the unique needs of children

Beginning January 2022, in-school COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered to students in grades 4, 5 and 6. Eligible students in other grades will need to be vaccinated at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic. More information about in-school vaccinations, including consent forms, will be sent home with students in the coming weeks.

Book an appointment for your child at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic online or by calling toll-free 1-844-975-3303.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, following a thorough review of the clinic trial data, now recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty® vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age.

More information will be shared in the coming days with Island parents/guardians about when they can make an appointment for their child at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic and when in-school vaccinations will be offered.


Will there be special clinics for children 5 to 11 years old?

Yes, to better support young children, the COVID-19 Immunization Clinics across Prince Edward Island are offering dedicated dates and times at each location specifically for children’s COVID-19 vaccinations. These dates, times and locations are listed on the online COVID-19 booking website.


Where can I read more information about the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty® COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in children 5 to 11 years old?

More information about the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty® COVID-19 vaccine clinic trial in children 5 to 11 years old is available in the NACI recommendation statement and the accompanying summary statement.


Will my child be vaccinated for COVID-19 without my consent?

No. As with all immunizations, the COVID vaccine will not be provided without informed consent.


Are the potential COVID-19 vaccine side effects the same in children as they are in adults?

Generally, yes. Your child may experience side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Similar to what they might experience after receiving other vaccines, the side effects tend to be mild and should go away within a few days:

  • redness, swelling, or feeling sore where you had the needle
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • fever or chills
  • body aches or sore joints
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea can occur but is very rare

For more information about what to expect after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.


Should I consider getting my child vaccinated for COVID-19?

Yes, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization believe (based on the clinical trials and scientific evidence) that there are many benefits to children who are vaccinated, including:

  • Reduced risk of getting COVID-19 – although evidence suggests that children who do get COVID-19 experience milder symptoms of illness from the virus, some children who are infected with the virus can become very sick and may need to be hospitalized.
  • Prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19 – both adults and children can spread the COVID-19 virus to others if they are infected, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 themselves. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 helps protect children and others by reducing the change that they transmit the virus to others if they become infected, including to family members, friends and classmates who may be at greater risk of becoming severely ill from the virus.
  • Help prevent other COVID-19 variants from emerging – scientific evidence indicates that the number of cases of children with COVID-19 is increasing, especially with the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant. Reducing the COVID-19 virus’ ability to spread by getting vaccinated also reduces the ability for the virus to mutate or change into a new variant that may be even more contagious and cause more severe illness in people who are infected.
  • Help protect the community – with every person who is vaccinated, the greater the health of our communities are protected, including our families, friends, neighbours, schools and day cares, and workplaces. Each person infected with COVID-19, including children, is more likely to spread the virus to others in the community. If this happens, those infected are also more likely to further spread the virus to others they are in close contact with. This creates the opportunity for community outbreaks and for the virus to mutate or change, creating a new variant.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine approved for children 5 to 11 years of age differ from the vaccine approved for those 12 years of age and older?

The pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty® COVID vaccine contains 1/3 of the quantity of the dose for those 12 and older and some of the non-active ingredients in the formulation have changed to increase the stability of the vaccine (10 mcg, using a TRIS/sucrose buffer versus 30 mcg using a saline/sucrose buffer).


How many doses of the vaccine is recommended for children 5 to 11 years old? If more than one, how much time between doses is recommended?

It is recommended that children 5 to 11 years of age receive two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty®™ COVID-19 vaccine with an interval of 8 weeks between the first and second dose as this will provide increased and longer-lasting protection from the virus.


My child is currently 11 years old and will be turning 12 in the coming months, should I wait until they are 12 years old to get them vaccinated for COVID-19?

Children who are currently 11 years old can receive the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for their first dose and the adult version as their second dose if they turn 12 within the recommended 8-week interval between first and second doses. It is safe to mix the pediatric and adult doses in situations like this, and children will still build a strong immunity response to the virus.


Where can I get a consent form so my child can get vaccinated?

You can download and print a consent form online. A consent form will also be sent home with eligible students prior to in-school clinics, along with more information about the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty®™ COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age.


How long after receiving another vaccine (e.g. influenza vaccine) should my child wait before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

It is recommended to wait 14 days after receiving another type of vaccine, like the influenza vaccine, before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, it is also recommended to wait 14 days after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine before receiving another type of vaccine.


How can I prepare my child for getting the vaccine?

A few days before their vaccination, talk to your child about getting vaccinated. Be calm and honest, don’t lie, about what to expect. Talk about why they are getting the vaccine and how it will protect them and the people they spend time with. Talk to them about the procedure itself, what will happen and that the nurse will help take care of them. Public Health Nurses have a lot of experience with vaccinating children and have tips and tricks to make the procedure less scary.

For more information, resources and videos to help you prepare your child for the COVID-19 vaccine, visit: www.aboutkidshealth.ca/COVID-19.

Here are a few things to remember on the day of the appointment:

  • Do not attend the appointment if your child is having symptoms of illness; fever, cough, sore throat. You can reschedule your child’s appointment at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic for a later date when they are feeling better.
  • Review the information in the fact sheet for the vaccine prior to your child’s appointment
  • Your child should wear a short sleeve shirt
  • Your child should wear a mask

If you are attending your child’s vaccination appointment, it is important that you are not experiencing symptoms of illness. You will need to wear a mask during the appointment.


My child is afraid of needles, what can I do to make the experience better for them?

Dr. Jackie Goodwin, Health PEI clinical psychologist, has five key tips for helping parents understand needle fear and how to support their child leading up to and during the vaccination:

It is important to let the Public Health Nurse know that your child has some needle fear. Public Health Nurses have a lot of experience with vaccinating children and can make the vaccination experience less scary for children.

For more information, resources and videos to help understand needle fear and supporting your child in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, visit: www.aboutkidshealth.ca/COVID-19.


When is my child considered to be fully immunized?

Like adults, children are considered fully immunized 14 days after receiving the full series (2 doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Is a booster or third dose recommended for children?

Currently, NACI has not recommended a booster or third dose for children 5 years of age and older. NACI continues to review data to determine if a booster dose is needed for the general public.


Are there specific concerns for children 5 to 11 years old getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

No. Clinical findings from 3,109 vaccine recipients did not indicate any serious safety concerns and no cases of vaccine-related myocarditis/pericarditis were reported. The commonly reported side effects, such as pain and redness at the injection site were similar to side effects reported in the adolescent age group. Any uncommon, rare or very rare adverse events that occur at a frequency less often than 1 in 1,000 would not be detected with the trial size.


What if my child is allergic to components of the COVID-19 vaccine?

It is possible that someone may have an allergic reaction after receiving COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals with known allergies to any of the components of the vaccine should not receive it.

Potential non-medicinal ingredients in the vaccines known to cause a reaction ranging from mild skin reactions to anaphylaxis include:

Vaccine product
(manufacturer)
Potential Allergen included in the vaccine  Other products where the allergen may be found*

Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty®TM COVID-19

12 years of age and older

polyethylene glycol (PEG) *Bowel preparation products for colonoscopy, laxatives, cough syrup, cosmetics, contact lens care solutions, skin care products, and as an additive in some food and drinks

Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty®

5-11 years of age

Tris/Sucrose Contrast agents, some oral and parenteral medications.

My child has had COVID-19, should they still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, it is recommended that anyone who has a prior COVID-19 infection still receive the vaccine. Although a prior COVID-19 infection may provide some protection from getting sick again, we do not know how long that protection will last, and it may not protect against new variants.

If your child is recovering from COVID-19, you should delay getting the vaccine until most of their symptoms are gone and they are no longer in self-isolation.


What if my child is immunocompromised or has an autoimmune disorder?

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that eligible individuals, including children 5 to 11 years of age, who are immunocompromised or who have an autoimmune disorder be offered the COVID-19 vaccine as long as informed consent is given. Informed consent should include information about the lack of data on the use of the COVID-19 vaccines in these populations.

You may choose for your child to be vaccinated, particularly if they are at increased risk for COVID-19 infection or severe disease.

Individuals should be aware of the absence of evidence on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in these individuals and be able to provide informed consent.


What is informed consent?

Informed consent means that you agree to receive the vaccine (or agree for your child to receive the vaccine) and understand the risks of receiving the vaccine and the risks if you or your child do not receive the vaccine. You will be provided information on the vaccine and should ask the nurse any questions you may have before your or your child receive the vaccine.


Will my child (5 to 11 years old) have access to a COVID-19 immunization record/PEI Vax Pass once they are vaccinated?

Yes, all eligible individuals who are vaccinated on Prince Edward Island will have access to their own COVID-19 immunization record/PEI Vax Pass.

Parents/guardians can access their child’s record on their behalf:

  • online through the COVD-19 Immunization Record portal
  • by visiting any Access PEI or PEI Public Library location across PEI
  • by visiting the PEI Visitor Information Centre in Borden-Carleton, Charlottetown or Wood Islands
  • by emailing vaxrecord@gov.pe.ca or calling toll-free 1-844-975-3303

For more information about accessing a PEI COVID-19 immunization record/PEI Vax Pass, click here.


Would getting the COVID-19 vaccine protect me if my child gets COVID-19?

Parents/guardians, household family members and others who come into close contact with a child who is infected with COVID-19 can become infected with the virus themselves. Being vaccinated for COVID-19 significantly reduces your risk of becoming infected with the virus and experiencing severe illness from the virus should you become infected.


Are children 5 to 11 years old required to show proof of vaccination under the PEI Vax Pass Program?

Not at this time. While children 5 to 11 years old are now eligible to get vaccinated, they are not required to show proof of vaccination under the PEI Vax Pass Program, nor are they required to be vaccinated to attend school or participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports. 

Published date: 
November 26, 2021
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca