Over 31,000 COVID-19 vaccination appointments for children aged five to 11 have been booked in Toronto so far, with city-run clinics, schools and pharmacies gearing up to administer vaccines starting tomorrow.

On Thursday, Mayor John Tory, along with Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and beloved cartoon character Polkaroo, provided an update on the vaccination rollout for kids.

So far, over 31,000 appointments of the more than 49,000 total slots currently available have been booked for kids over the next two and a half weeks.

There are about 200,000 children aged five to 11 in Toronto.

“This is terrific news for the safety and well-being first and foremost of those kids, the safety and well-being of our collective health but also things like keeping the schools open and trying to finally put this nasty pandemic behind us,” Tory said on Thursday.

Tory, Polkaroo

On Wednesday morning, the provincial booking system opened up allowing parents to book an appointment at one of Toronto’s five immunization clinics set up for children.

Appointments begin on Thursday, less than a week after Health Canada approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Before the approval of the pediatric shot, only individuals aged 12 and older were eligible for a vaccine in Ontario.

Tory said that he expects nearly 50,000 appointments for kids will be booked by the first week of December.

“It's good to see that a lot of families want to get their kids vaccinated as soon as possible…It was a response that surpassed even at the beginning expectations and of course caused more appointments to be opened up,” he said.

The city’s five kid vaccination clinics are located at:

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., North Building, Hall A
  • Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall
  • Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Dr.
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave.
  • Woodbine Mall, 500 Rexdale Blvd.

As part of Toronto’s kid-friendly approach, children will be greeted with a superhero vaccine passport at the clinics, along with stickers, colouring sheets and superhero selfie stations.

In addition to the city-run clinics, starting tomorrow vaccinations will be offered at over 230 schools, select pharmacies and doctor’s offices.

“Weeks in advance of vaccine even arriving, TPH (Toronto Public Health) and its Team Toronto partners have planned 230 school-based clinics as a hub and spoke model to service 390 schools in those neighbourhoods for 55,000 kids,” Counc. Joe Cressy said at the briefing.

Cressy said caregivers and students will receive clinic information directly from participating schools.

Toronto kids vaccine

On Tuesday, the first small group of 10 children received their first shot at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital- marking the first kids to receive the vaccine across the nation.

“The experience of vaccination, because there was a distraction, because there was a bit of fun, because there was colouring materials and lollipops and all that kind of thing, I think it went very well and hopefully that'll be an experience that repeats itself over and over again,” Tory said.

To date, more than 88 per cent of Torontonians 12 years and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 85 per cent have received two doses and are considered fully vaccinated.