First COVID-19 shots for kids should be available Thursday, Eastern Ontario top doctor says

OTTAWA — Children ages five to 11 should be able to get their first COVID-19 shots by Thursday, Eastern Ontario’s top doctor says.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says he expects the vaccines to be delivered on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. That would allow the health unit to get the first shots in arms on Thursday.

“We’re aiming for Thursday,” he told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Leslie Roberts. “I can’t guarantee that, but that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages five to 11 on Friday. Officials did not provide a delivery timeline at a news conference Friday morning.

Roumeliotis said the Pfizer vaccines are in the U.S. and ready to be shipped to Canada.

“It will probably arrive in Ontario early next week,” he said. “Stay tuned for final details, but I can tell you we’ll likely be vaccinating by the end of next week.”

Health authorities say they are ready to vaccinate children as soon as the province approves and doses arrive. Ottawa Public Health says it can vaccinate 77,000 eligible children within four weeks.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Twitter the provincial vaccine booking portal will go live early next week, once the province has received final supply details from the federal government.

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