Youth COVID-19 Vaccines
All young people born on or before December 31, 2009 are also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. In Manitoba, we are providing the Pfizer vaccine to young people under the age of 18.
Why Youth Should Get Vaccinated
The vaccine helps protect young people against the virus, and helps to reduce the spread to their families, friends and within the community.
There are many other benefits as well:
- Vaccinating youth will help us continue in-person learning at school and help reduce the number of times that school cohorts end up requiring isolation.
- It will also help kids get back to sports, music and all of the other activities that they love.
- Vaccinating young people will prevent the virus from spreading and help reduce the chance that new, more deadly, strains develop.
- Also: Youth can transmit COVID-19 to others, infecting other children, family members and friends who may be more vulnerable to the effects of the disease.
How to Get Vaccinated
Young people can get immunized at supersites, pop-ups
and community-based clinics wherever the Pfizer vaccine is offered.
To make it easier to get the COVID-19 vaccine, public health teams will begin offering immunization clinics in schools across the province starting in mid-September. Educators and parents will be notified when a COVID-19 immunization clinic will be happening in their school.
Planning is also underway to hold community pop-up clinics in a number of schools after school hours on the day of the school clinic. During this time, the clinics will be open to anyone from the community, adults and youth as long as they meet the current eligibility requirements.
Appointments for these clinics will be booked online or through the call centre, and some walk-in appointments will also be available. More information will be posted on the Vaccine Finder when details are confirmed.
Young people aged 16 and 17 can sign their own consent form for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Other young people (born on or before December 31, 2009 up to the age of 15) can:
- attend their vaccine appointment with a parent, guardian or caregiver, or
- bring a signed consent form at the time of their appointment.
If the youth attends a supersite, pop-up clinic or other community clinic without a guardian and without a signed consent form, they must go through an informed consent process with an appropriate health care provider at the clinic. This assesses their ability to consent to be immunized on their own.
The process for consent will be different for the COVID-19 vaccine in school settings.
Informed consent is the foundation of all public health immunization programs for children and youth. Public health will ask for consent from a parent or guardian for all children and youth who wish to receive a COVID19 vaccine in schools during school hours. Only children with parental consent or children age 16 or older who can provide their own consent will participate in the clinics during school hours.
If any eligible students under the age of 16 ask to be vaccinated in the school during school hours and do not have consent from a parent or guardian, clinic staff will ask them to return after school hours. In the meantime, clinic staff will try to contact the student’s parent or guardian to get their consent for vaccination. If they are unable to contact a parent or guardian, clinic staff will assess whether the student meets the requirements as a mature minor when they return after school hours.
Parents who would like their child(ren) to receive the vaccine at school can complete a consent form before the clinic date. The form is available online at manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine/resources.html and can be filled in and printed. For households that don’t have access to the internet or a printer, paper consent forms and other materials will be available from the school and can be returned to the teacher once completed.
Safety for Youth
Clinical trials, which test the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, always use adult participants first for their studies. Now that clinical trials have been completed and reviewed with older children participating in the studies, Health Canada has approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children 12 years of age and older. In Manitoba, we are using the Pfizer vaccine for this age group.
The side effects of the vaccine for youth are generally the same as the side effects for adults. They may experience pain at the injection site (upper arm), and could feel more tired than usual. Headache, achy muscles or joints, and even fever and chills are also possible. These side effects are usually temporary and generally clear up within 48 hours.
If you are unsure whether you or your child should be vaccinated, talk to your family doctor or pediatrician. Visit the Q&A and Myths pages to learn more about the vaccine.
Letter to Superintendents (Sept.13, 2021)
Letter to Superintendents – French (Sept.13, 2021)
Letter to Parents and Caregivers (Sept. 13, 2021)
Letter to Parents and Caregivers – French (Sept. 13, 2021)
Protecting our community works best when we all do our part.