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Vaccinations for 6 Months to Less than Five Years

As of July 24, 2023, Moderna bivalent vaccine is available as a two-dose primary series.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending the use of Moderna bivalent vaccine for this age group.

Full details on this can be found on the NACI website.

Parents and guardians of all children age six months to less than five years may now book appointments online or by calling 1-833-Sask-VAX (1-833-727-5829).


1. Where to get childhood COVID-19 vaccinations

The SHA will offer this pediatric vaccine across the province. A variety of clinics will be offered, including walk-in, booked appointments and with extended hours. Indigenous Services Canada and Northern Inter-Tribal Authority will be operating vaccination clinics in First Nation and Métis communities.

If scheduling your child’s routine vaccinations (i.e. MMR, varicella), speak to your public health staff about receiving the COVID-19 immunization at the same time.

Pharmacists cannot provide vaccinations to children younger than five years.


2. About the vaccine for children six months to less than five years old

It is recommended that children receive their primary series doses at an eight-week interval between the required doses.

Children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive three doses with an interval of four to eight weeks between doses.

Children six months to less than five years of age who had a previous COVID-19 infection, require an eight-week interval between their infection and starting or completing of their COVID-19 primary series (i.e. eight weeks after symptom onset or positive test, if no symptoms). This interval may be shortened for children considered moderately to severely immunocompromised (e.g. four to eight weeks after symptom onset or positive test, if no symptoms).

You can read and/or print the pediatric vaccine information, safety and after care sheets.

A parent/legal guardian must be present to provide verbal, informed consent. If the parent chooses an adult designate (e.g. grandparent, aunt) to accompany the child for a vaccine, a consent form signed by the parent/guardian must be presented.


3. Definition of Moderately/Severely Immunocompromised

Moderately to severely immunocompromised children includes individuals with the following conditions:

  • Immunocompromised due to solid tumour or hematologic malignancies or treatments for these conditions
  • Solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Immunocompromised due to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy targeting lymphocytes
  • Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency with associated humoral and/or cell-mediated immunodeficiency or immune dysregulation
  • HIV with AIDS-defining illness or tuberculosis diagnosis in last 12 months before starting vaccine series, or severe immune compromise with CD4<200 cells/uL or CD4%<15%, or without HIV viral suppression
  • Recent treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies: anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22), high-dose systemic corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumour-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive
  • Chronic kidney disease (stage five) or on dialysis

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Which vaccines are approved for my child?
Please visit the Health Canada site for information on approved vaccines.

Can my child receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as their regularly scheduled childhood immunizations (i.e. MMR, varicella)?
Yes. When making an appointment for your child to receive their routine childhood vaccinations, speak to the public health staff about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as well.

My child is afraid of needles. Is there anything I can do to help?
Parents or guardians will be required to attend the clinic or appointment to support their child during vaccination. Children can bring comfort items with them such as stuffed toys. The SHA is focusing on family-friendly clinics and don't be surprised if you see a therapy dog at the clinic.

There are lots of good online resources for helping you make your child comfortable with suggestions for distractions or deep breaths and how to talk to your child about immunization.

Is it mandatory to get my child vaccinated? Can schools require vaccination?
Vaccinations are not mandatory in Saskatchewan.

If kids are less likely to get really sick, why does my child need to be vaccinated?
Children are at a lower risk of serious illness compared to adults, but they are still at risk from infection with COVID-19 and may face serious illness, complications and even death.

Not only can the COVID-19 disease make a child very ill, it can also lead to other conditions such as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) where different body parts such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs become inflamed, which is most common in children aged 5 to 11.

Early studies also show that children can get long COVID, indicating that one to four per cent of children with a COVID-19 infection had lasting symptoms. Symptoms include tiredness, headache, sore throat, and loss of smell. Children can get long COVID even after a mild illness.

Immunizing your child not only protects them, but the rest of your household, your loved ones and your community by decreasing the risk of transmission, which in turn decreases the number of people who will become ill with COVID-19.

I'm worried that the vaccines were developed really fast. Are they safe for children?
Clinical trials of the original COVID-19 vaccine have demonstrated they are safe for children ages six months to five years.

Will the vaccine change my child's DNA or cause infertility?
No. The vaccines are safe and very effective at preventing serious illness and death. The vaccine will not change DNA or cause infertility.

Will my child experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?
It is possible your child may experience some side effects from receiving any vaccine. The side effects are usually mild and are a sign that the vaccine is working in the body to build protection against COVID-19.

Common side effects are a sore or red arm, tiredness, chills, fever, headache, nausea, and muscle/joint pain. Side effects usually go away after a few days.

What are the serious side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in children?
No new or unexpected serious side effects were seen in the Moderna vaccine trials for children in this age group. Serious side effects, like anaphylaxis (a severe allergy), after immunization are rare – occurring in 0.0008 percent of all Moderna COVID-19 immunizations to people over the age of five.

Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) and of the sac around the heart (pericarditis) can happen rarely after COVID-19 vaccines. These conditions are more likely for young males aged 12-29 after their second dose, are usually mild and are treatable with rest and anti-inflammatory medicines. There were no instances of myo/pericarditis identified in clinical trials for six month to five year old children.

These conditions happen far more often after a COVID-19 infection than after immunization.

What are the long-term side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in children?
There is no evidence of any long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine in children. mRNA vaccines, such as the Moderna original strain vaccine, have been studied in humans since 2013 with no known long-term effects. Vaccines do not impact fertility or alter your genes (DNA).

How can I treat my child's COVID-19 vaccine side effects?
If your child feels pain or discomfort where they got their COVID-19 vaccine, try placing a cool, wet washcloth on the area. Encourage them to exercise or move the area.

Pain or fever-reducing medications may be given to your child if they are experiencing side effects. Make sure you always give your child the appropriate dose of any medication. Offer plenty of fluids to encourage hydration.

It is not recommended that you give your child any pain-relieving medications before they get their COVID 19 vaccine to prevent side effects.

My child has additional medical issues or allergies. Is it safe for them to be vaccinated?
Yes, the COVID 19 vaccine is safe and recommended for children with chronic or underlying medical conditions.

Children with certain medical conditions – including diabetes, sickle cell disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, kidney disease and more – may be more likely to get severely ill if they get COVID 19. Therefore, it's even more important to make sure these children get vaccinated.

What is the interval between vaccines for children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age? Will they need boosters?
Initial recommendations are that children 6 months to less than five years of age receive this two-dose vaccine with an eight week interval between the first and second dose. Children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive three doses with an interval of four to eight weeks between doses. Families may have the option of reducing these intervals to 28 days.

We don't know yet if children will need a COVID-19 booster. Experts will continue to monitor how long the vaccine is effective.

Can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the flu shot?
Yes. In most cases the seasonal influenza vaccine will be available at the same clinics offering the pediatric vaccination.

My child already had COVID-19; should they still get vaccinated?
Yes. Your child should get immunized at least eight weeks from when they have COVID-19. Studies have shown that the vaccines can trigger a COVID-19 immune response stronger than the one naturally present in people who had COVID-19, as well as providing longer lasting protection.

How will I get proof of vaccination for my child?
Parents/guardians are able to access their child's immunization record through MySaskHealthRecord. Parents/guardians must have an account themselves, and the child's information can be linked. Parents/guardians with MySaskHealthRecord who have not already made a request for access to a child's immunization record are encouraged to do so. Those 14 years and older must have their own account.


5. COVID-19 Vaccine Questions from Kids

I'm scared of needles. Will getting the vaccine hurt?
The needle will pinch but only for a few seconds. There are things that you can do to make it hurt less like taking some deep breaths, wiggling your fingers or counting to 10.

Do I have to get vaccinated?
Getting vaccinated keeps you from getting really sick. It will be up to your mom or dad or guardian whether you get vaccinated.

Is the vaccine the same one as adults get?
The vaccine is a little bit different because it is made especially for younger children. There is also a smaller amount of the vaccine needed.

Do kids really need the COVID-19 vaccine?
Many kids have had COVID-19 and some have been fine but some have been very sick. A vaccine will help to make sure that you don't get very sick. It will be up to your parents or guardian to decide if you are to be vaccinated.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
The vaccine is safe. It has been tested on many children and there were no serious side effects and it kept those children from getting very sick.

What are the side effects of getting the vaccine?
You will probably have a sore arm for a little while. Some people do not feel anything after getting vaccinated. You may feel tired and achy or chilled, but that goes away in a day or two.

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