The local health unit is calling on 12 to 17-year-olds to get their first COVID-19 vaccine in June.

Based on the province’s schedule for second doses, youth vaccinated this month will be eligible to receive their second dose in August, ensuring they are fully vaccinated when school kicks back into action in September.

The region’s Medical Officer Dr. Natalie Bocking says research has shown that the vaccine is safe and effective for youth and that the side effects of receiving the vaccine are like those for adults and are minimal. 

Those usually include pain where the vaccine was given in the upper arm, feeling more tired than usual, headache, achy muscles or joints, and fever and chills. 

However, these side effects are usually temporary and generally clear up within one to three days.

Youth are encouraged to book an appointment for their vaccination at any of the Health Unit’s immunization clinics. 

Appointments for the clinics must be booked through the provincial booking system. 

Some local pharmacies may also provide youth vaccinations and should be contacted directly to book appointments. 

As well, primary health care providers may also offer vaccinations to their younger patients and their families.