Kids in Peel Region aged 12 and up can give their own consent to receive a COVID-19 shot, without their parents signing off, officials say.

The Region of Peel clarified its policy Thursday, noting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for anyone 12 or older in Canada.

“Vaccine bookings are NOW open for youth aged 12+ who live, work or attend school in Peel. Individuals must be 12+ at the time of their appointment. Pfizer is currently the only vaccine authorized for use in this age group,” tweeted the official Region of Peel Twitter account. 

“Please note info around the consent for vaccination has been updated. Youth aged 12+ can consent to immunization on their own behalf provided they understand the benefits and risks of vaccination. As with any other medical appointment, we encourage family discussion.” 

Although children can consent to the vaccine, they are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they attend their appointment.

The move comes as Ontario announced an expansion in its vaccination campaign. The new eligibility criteria will mean that youth in that age group can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine beginning on May 31. 

Currently, all adults in the province are already eligible for vaccination appointments. 

Similarly, Nova Scotia’s public health authorities announced this week that no parental consent would be required for youth to receive the vaccine. 

“We don’t actually require for even our routine Grade 7 vaccinations. They don’t actually have to have parental consent. It’s up to the judgement of the immunizer whether the youth is determined to be able to make their own decisions around vaccines and that would carry through for this COVID vaccination as well,” said Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health  Dr. Robert Strang. 

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