COVID-19 Vaccinations for Teens

By Katie Souliere, RN, Ottawa Public Health June 10, 2021

Are you a parent of a teen 12 years and up? Teens 12 years and up are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer BioNtech. 

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that a complete series with a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to those 12 to 18 years old who do not have any contraindications to the vaccine.  

According to NACI, clinical trials showed an excellent ability to protect teens 12 to 15 years of age against confirmed COVID-19 illness. After two doses, it is estimated that the vaccine will protect somewhere between 75% to 100% of those vaccinated in this age group. 

In clinical trials, the vaccine was well tolerated in 12 to 15 year olds. Compared to individuals 18 to 55 years of age, teens12 to 15 years of age showed side effects such as headache, chills and fever more often. Any serious side effects should be brought to the attention of a health care provider. 

If your teen tends to have anxiety around needles, visit Parenting in Ottawa’s  Immunizations FAQ page for some tips on managing anxiety during vaccinations. Anyone with a history of fainting during an injection will be able to lie down for the vaccination to avoid dizziness or fainting. 

Whether you have received a vaccination or not, it is very important that we continue to follow public health measures (e.g., physical distancing, limiting close contacts, wearing a mask, staying home when sick and practising hand hygiene) to keep each other safe. COVID-19 is still in the community. The vaccine does not protect everyone, particularly after only one dose.  

Please, continue to review the COVID-19 vaccine web page for details on booking your teen for a COVID-19 vaccine.  

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines and youth, please visit: