Thursday, May 27, 2021
RE: A COVID-19 vaccine is now available for youth aged 12 years and up
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Vaccines are safe, effective and are the best way to protect your child, your family, and your community from COVID-19. Vaccines will help students and families to safely resume normal activities as soon as possible.
Health Canada has authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for youth aged 12 years and up. Ontarians aged 12 to 17 years are now able to book an appointment for a free first dose of the vaccine. There will also be special “youth and families clinics” happening throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21. Depending on where you live, some clinics will offer appointments and others may be drop-in clinics.
Most children with the COVID-19 virus have mild symptoms or none at all. However, some children with the COVID-19 virus can get very sick. Children can also spread COVID-19 to other people. Vaccinating children protects them from getting sick and reduces virus spread within their household and the community.
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has a dedicated webpage that outlines how to book and prepare for your child’s vaccination appointment. It provides information about the province’s current plan for youth vaccinations, answers key questions around safety and effectiveness, and provides links to external sites for more information. You and your child are also encouraged to talk to your health care provider or contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit if you have questions about the vaccine. A letter from the TBDHU with further details follows below.
Getting youth vaccinated against COVID-19 is a way that you and your family can protect yourselves and your community. Although youth are less likely to experience serious illness from COVID-19, some young people do get sick and require hospitalization. Vaccines are the best way to prevent this from happening.
Supporting your child to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is an important step in the fight against this disease. It will be a key factor in helping our school community return to a sense of normalcy and will benefit overall physical and mental health for children, youth and their families.
Ian MacRae, Director of Education
The following is a letter from the TBDHU:
May 26, 2021
To: Parents, Caregivers and Youth in Thunder Bay and Surrounding Areas
Re: COVID-19 Vaccine Booking for Youth aged 12 and up
Youth aged 12 and up are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) has arranged for special clinics for them to be immunized. Any family members who are at least 12 years old and who have not already received their first dose of vaccine are also eligible to book appointments at these clinics.
To book a vaccine appointment online at one of these dedicated clinics, please visit: bit.ly/vax12plus. Details on the vaccine clinic location are provided at the time of booking. More clinics will be added if needed. If you are not able to book online, call the TBDHU Call Centre at 625-5900.
In addition to these dedicated clinics, vaccine appointments can also be made through the provincial booking system or through a pharmacy location offering vaccines to youth. Other options may also be available. Please check our website at TBDHU.com/covidclinics for more vaccine opportunities.
Consent for vaccination will be obtained at the time of the appointment. If a parent or legal guardian cannot attend the appointment, we encourage you to provide written consent for vaccination using the COVID-19 vaccine consent form.
TBDHU is also arranging for vaccine clinics to be set up in some rural communities and in the following city neighbourhoods:
- County Fair
- McKellar Park
Details on dates, times and locations of these clinics will be posted in the coming days at TBDHU.com/covidclinics and on our social media channels. Information will also be provided through school boards as soon as possible.
Everyone who is eligible is strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19. I assure you that the vaccines are safe and offer the best protection for our children, families, schools, and broader communities. Please base your decision on whether to be immunized using credible sources. The COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet: For Youth (age 12-17) is a helpful resource. TBDHU also offers current information, resources and videos at TBDHU.com/VaccineFacts and on our social media channels. If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, call 625-5900 to speak to a public health professional.
Dr. Janet DeMille, CCFP, FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health Thunder Bay District Health Unit