Niagara Region Public Health has changed a webpage saying parental consent is not required for vaccinations under Ontario law, and says it will collect parental consent before vaccinating any children aged five through 11 for COVID-19.

As originally reported by True North, a Niagara Region webpage about vaccination said parental consent was not required.

“Under the Health Care Consent Act, be advised that there is no minimum age to provide consent. This means that your child can consent to be vaccinated without parental consent,” the website claimed. 

Following a backlash on social media, Niagara Region Public Health has since updated its website to indicate that parental consent is required for COVID-19 vaccines for kids between five to 11 years of age. 

“For information on consent about COVID-19 vaccine in children and youth, visit COVID-19 vaccination in children and youth. Niagara Region Public Health requires parental / guardian consent for children five to 11 years of age for the COVID-19 vaccine,” the website now says. 

On Tuesday, Niagara Region’s official Twitter account claimed that “misinformation (was) being shared” about vaccinating children from five to 11 despite the information originating on their website. 

An archived version of Niagara Region’s page still contains the statement in its original form. 

Yesterday, Niagara Region Public Health held a virtual town hall for parents who wanted to learn more information on vaccinating their kids against COVID-19. 

“Vaccinating children will help to reduce the number of cases of COVID-19. The vaccine is shown in clinical trials to prevent symptomatic illness in youth.”

With regard to parental consent, Niagara Region Public Health states that it is “preferred that children get their vaccine with a parent or legal guardian present at the clinic.” 

“If necessary, children can go with an alternative caregiver to get vaccinated.”

According to Health Canada data, only 2% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 were under the age of 20 and six COVID-related deaths have been reported among those under the age of 15.