Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the City of Ottawa have been communicating through local school boards in order to provide Ottawa youth and their families with the information they need to make an informed decision about COVID-19 vaccination.
As per the Health Care Consent Act of Ontario, children and youth aged 12 to 17 years will be able to consent for themselves at their vaccine appointment. Your child or youth will only be given a vaccine if they are able to make the decision and show informed consent. Your child or youth should understand:
- The treatment (at this time only Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine)
- Why it is recommended
- Risks and benefits if they get the vaccine, or do not get the vaccine
The vaccine provider and family must respect the young person’s decision about the vaccine. This means, it is possible your child could refuse the vaccine. OPH recommends that parents and guardians discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with their eligible child(ren) before the vaccine appointment. The COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary.
If a child or youth is unable to consent for themselves, a substitute decision maker (parent or guardian) needs to provide consent.
OPH is aware that some jurisdictions have held family-friendly vaccination clinics where ice cream was offered to parents and youth attending and getting vaccinated, however Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa have not offered ice cream at vaccination clinics.