FeatureSports & Health

Child-friendly COVID vaccine clinic opens

Markham Stouffville Hospital has launched a dedicated child-friendly vaccination clinic for kids aged five to 11.

Cornell Community Centre recently opened its doors and welcomed youth with an inviting space and special activities.

The very first child to be vaccinated was Brendan St. Croix, who said he “felt good” after receiving the shot.

Providing some support and a little encouragement, MSH’s Dr. Bear is there every step of the way – quite literally – kids can follow his footprints from start to finish.

The children’s vaccination clinic operates on completely separate days than the adult clinic, creating a more inviting, comfortable environment including children’s chairs in the waiting room to sit beside their parent or caregiver.

“Kids are surrounded by their peers, and are able to take a few extra minutes to simply take a deep breathe, ask questions, play a game and lower their anxiety before being vaccinated,” says Dr. Joseph Wiley, Interim Chief of Paediatrics at MSH.

During the process of receiving the shot, the clinic offers a variety of distractions such as ‘find Dr. Bear’ game, stickers, their choice of bandages and popular kids movies are playing while they wait the 15 minutes afterwards.

“Families can be confident that they will have a safe and welcoming experience during their child’s vaccination appointment,” Dr. Wiley says. “It’s so important to keep this vulnerable population safe and make sure they have the best protection against COVID-19.”

Prepare your kids by providing child-friendly vaccine information, provide a distraction by bringing a book or stress ball, provide a supportive position like a hug while they sit in your lap and end with support and closure by letting them know it is over and that they did a great job.

Cornell Community Centre is open daily for adult and kids doses, and appointments are available. For information on clinic hours and parking visit www.oakvalleyhealth.ca/vaccinations.


Photo: Brendan St. Croix was the first child to be vaccinated at the Cornell Community Centre vaccine clinic.

Story submitted by Amanda Sexton.


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