All children aged 5 to 11 can now receive a bivalent booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, children aged 5 to 11 who previously received a booster dose with the monovalent (original) vaccine do not need to receive a second booster with the bivalent vaccine.
Recommended COVID-19 vaccines include:
All children in this age group are eligible to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccine series. A primary series consists of two doses.
Children in this age group are eligible for a booster dose. A waiting period is recommended between the completion of the primary series and booster dose.
It is recommended that youth aged 5 to 11 get a bivalent booster dose. You must have received the primary series vaccine before receiving your booster dose.
Explore the resources below to find more information for parents, caregivers and kids about the COVID-19 vaccine, why it’s important, how to book, and how to make the vaccine experience a more positive one.
You can use Manitoba’s online vaccine finder to find a location with the pediatric vaccine – just select the “COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids (5-11)” box to find one.
A pediatric primary series (2 doses for most people) of the COVID-19 vaccine is available for children aged 5 to 11, which can help protect them against catching COVID-19 or experiencing serious side effects. Although children and youth are less likely to get critically ill from COVID-19, we have seen that some will have more severe outcomes. Getting vaccinated helps protect kids, and the people around them.
Manitoba Health is advising that all children aged 5 to 11 can now receive a bivalent dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Boosters are important because protection against COVID-19, either from previous immunizations or an infection, decreases over time.
The original COVID-19 vaccines are what is called monovalent — mono meaning one. They were made to protect against one strain of the COVID virus, the original strain. Since then, other variants of COVID have evolved, the omicron variant being the most predominant, and strains from it continue to spread in Manitoba.
The new bivalent vaccine — bi meaning two — has been developed for the original strain and the omicron strain. This provides the broadest protection possible, and not just against those two strains, but against other variants of the virus that are similar.
The annual flu shot is comparable. Every year, the flu shot is developed to target strains of influenza that are expected to be dominant that year, usually three of them.
The original versions of the COVID vaccine were the best we had available, they were safe and effective and helped to save lives. If, for any reason, individuals would like to receive the original booster dose, those will continue to be available. Visit eligibility criteria for more information.
Waiting Period After Booster or Infection:
It is recommended that individuals wait six months from the last dose of vaccine or COVID-19 infection. This recommendation is due to clinical studies showing you get the best immune response, or the best protection, if the time frame between doses is a bit longer.
However, understanding that some individuals may be at increased risk of getting severely ill with COVID-19, individuals can book their bivalent booster if at least three months from the last dose of vaccine or infection.
Paired with Flu Vaccine:
Children ages 5 to 11 years may receive other vaccines before, on the same day, or after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Questions & Answers
Got questions about vaccines for kids? Get answers for commonly asked questions.
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Talking About the Vaccine
From the news, to social media, to dinner table and school conversations, our kids already know some things about COVID-19. However, young children may not fully understand what the vaccine is, or how it works.
Here are some ideas to help keep it simple when talking with kids about the vaccine.
Easy as 1-2-3
- COVID-19 germs that want to invade your body and make you sick.
- The COVID-19 vaccine gives your body a picture of what the virus looks like, so your body can build up an army of cells to fight off the virus.
- These special cells act as guards, so if COVID germs show up, your body is ready to recognize the virus destroy it.
When Kids Ask “Why?”
Kids love asking their parents, “Why?” And it’s a great question. Here are some facts to help you answer their vaccine questions.
- Just the Facts: Kids may have spoken with their friends, teachers, caregivers and relatives about COVID-19 and the vaccine. It’s important for parents to stay knowledgeable and to be ready with credible information, so kids can get clear facts. You can brush up on the frequently asked questions and your kids might benefit from watching informational videos.
- Empower Kids to Help Others: Kids love to be helpful. You can let them know that getting immunized the vaccine is one of the most important ways they can help others. It not only protects them, but it also protects their loved ones and friends from getting COVID-19.
- Returning to Normal Faster: Getting immunized can help all kids and family members get back to the activities they love, like play dates, sleepovers, music lessons, team sports, and visiting grandparents and relatives.
NOTE: Second dose appointments can made for children ages 5 to 11. There must be a minimum of 8 weeks between first and second doses (or 21 days for children living in First Nations communities.)
Talking with Family &
It’s time for parents and guardians to start having important family conversations about immunizations, talking with kids about how vaccines work to protect them, ourselves and our communities, especially in a pandemic. Your health care provider is a helpful resource to find answers to your questions.
Helpful Tips for
Parents & Kids
Clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines in this age group showed the immune response in younger children was strong, and similar to what was seen in younger adults. No serious side effects were identified.
All vaccines in Canada are monitored for safety and effectiveness before and after they are approved and as they are being used. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will continue to closely monitor the safety of this vaccine.
To support parents, guardians and families check here, and the Ways to Help page, for information on the vaccine from trusted sources.
Protecting our community works best when we all do our part.