COVID-19 Vaccine Approved by Health Canada now approved for kids six months to 5

Update: July 15, 2022

On Thursday, July 14, 2022 Health Canada approved the Moderna Spikevax Covid-19 vaccine for children aged six months to five years old. This makes approximately 1.7 million Canadian children eligible for vaccination. Health Canada has authorized a two-dose primary series of 25 micrograms each, with the second dose to be administered 4 weeks after the first dose. This is half the dose authorized for children six to eleven years old and one quarter of the dose authorized for people over twelve years of age.

Clinical trials were conducted during the Omicron surge and demonstrated that the vaccine is well-tolerated and had comparable efficacy to those in other age cohorts. While there is no specific information on children six months to five years old with type 1 diabetes, the vaccine is considered safe and effective. JDRF recommends speaking to your healthcare professionals if you have any questions or require more information.

Read more here:


On Friday, November 19, 2021, Health Canada approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children 5-11 years old.  

Parents now have the option to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.  

Having type 1 diabetes (T1D) itself does not increase the risk of contracting the virus. As with any virus, however, there is the possibility for more severe health outcomes for kids with T1D, including hospitalization  and increased potential for both hypo and hyperglycemic episodes.  

As well, some children who contracted COVID-19 developed a rare but serious condition known as Multi Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). MIS-C results in the severe inflammation of some organs and tissues — like the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, digestive system, brain, skin, or eyes. Children, including those with T1D, can lower their risk of serious complications by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The goal is always to try and prevent your child from getting ill in the first place. And with most kids back in school and activities, the possibility of encountering the coronavirus increases. The greater the number of people who are vaccinated, the lower the potential for community spread. 

How are the children’s vaccines different? 

The vaccine dose for children 5-11 is lower than the 12+ dosage – 10mcg versus 30mcg. Clinical trials with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine demonstrated significant antibody development at this dosage relative to the adult dose, showing a 90.7% efficacy against the virus

The dosing schedule for Canadian children will be eight weeks between doses, as opposed to the three-week schedule currently being applied in the United States. NACI, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, has recommended this dosing schedule under the assumption that it increases antibodies and may potentially lengthen the period between the second dose and antibodies waning. 

It’s important to maintain the same measures (masking, handwashing, social distancing) between the two doses to try and prevent infection before the full series has been administered. 

What if there are vaccine side effects? 

Children may experience the same side effects as many adults: fatigue, muscle aches and chills, slight fever with headaches, and arm soreness. 

Some adults with T1D found that the vaccine affected their blood sugar levels. Make sure to check your child’s blood sugar levels more frequently in the first few days after the vaccine to monitor for any potentials highs or lows that can be quickly managed. 

When will vaccines be available for kids under five? 

In September 2021, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced that data on the COVID-19 vaccine for children between two and four years old should be available by the end of the year.  

They are also currently running trials for infants six months to toddler (two-years-old), but there has been no announced timeline on when data from these trials will be made publicly available.  

Until such time as full approval comes for all age groups, even after vaccination, it’s important to continue to maintain the same public health measures as before, masking in indoor spaces, good hygiene and handwashing, and limited interactions with crowds. 

As with all health decisions, reach out to your child’s healthcare team to come to the decision that is best for your family. 

Additional resources: 
Canadian Pediatric Society: 

Health Canada: 

New CDC Study: Children Who Have Recovered from COVID-19 May Be at Increased Risk of Diabetes

JDRF is committed to providing timely information about the latest research updates relevant to the diabetes community. Early January 2022 researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States reported that children who have recovered from COVID-19 may be at an increased risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.

The CDC’s analysis was published in the organization’s January 7, 2022, edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The New York Times reported the results January 7, 2022, (a subscription may be required to view full article).

According to The New York Times article, “…The CDC study is among the first to examine large insurance claim databases in the United States to estimate the prevalence of new diabetes diagnoses in children under age 18 who had COVID or were known to be infected with the coronavirus.”

It is important to note that the study—which does not differentiate between type 1 diabetes (T1D), type 2 diabetes (T2D) or any other form of diabetes—only highlights an association born out in the data examined.

The study does not identify how COVID-19 could cause (or provide evidence that it does cause) an increased risk of diabetes in children.

“As a research organization, JDRF will continue to analyze and update our community about these and other data related to COVID-19,” said Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, at JDRF International. “Other data globally have not shown an association between COVID-19 and diabetes onset, and we are in discussions with clinical leaders to further assess the evidence. In the meantime, we urge the public to be alert to signs of T1D and take steps such as vaccination to protect you and your loved ones.”

How was the study conducted?

The CDC study is based on a summary of findings from two U.S. medical claims databases, IQVIA and HealthVerity.

The examined data from the two databases focused on approximately 500,000 children under the age of 18 years who had a COVID-19 diagnosis between March 1, 2020, and June 28, 2021.

Diabetes incidence in COVID-19 positive individuals was 166 percent higher in the IQVIA cohort and 31 percent higher in the HealthVerity cohort (both compared to COVID-19 negative individuals).

There was no significant difference in diabetes incidence between the age sub-groups or sexes.

Additionally, there is no information in the examined data about other health conditions that could also be associated with a diabetes diagnosis (such as body mass index, blood pressure, etc.). It also does not account for race/ethnicity differences, or comparison with other cohorts that may have differential healthcare access (including less-than-adequate healthcare access).

A similar study has not been conducted in Canada with a Canadian cohort.

Prevention is still the best medicine. Vaccines and T1D

Getting vaccinated is everyone’s best line of defense against severe illness and hospitalization resulting from COVID-19.

All data show the approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for people with T1D. Vaccines were tested in people with diabetes (9.4% of Moderna, 8.4% of Pfizer-BioNTech, and 0.5% of J&J trial participants had diabetes) and no adverse effects were reported in these populations.

Currently, JDRF does not have information on the number of people with T1D in these trials, nor about T1D-specific adverse events reported yet in scientific literature, but there is no evidence now to indicate that these vaccines are unsafe for people with T1D.

Starting in early winter 2021, JDRF Canada successfully advocated that those with T1D be categorized as high priority to receive COVID-19 vaccines, based on data that shows adults who contract COVID-19 and have diabetes experience a three to four times higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization than people without diabetes.

Since late 2021, Pfizer-BioNTech has been approved for children aged 5 – 11 years old.

No vaccines yet are approved for children ages 6 months to 4 years, but Pfizer is conducting clinical trials for kids in this age group.

What to do if you have COVID-19 and T1D

If a person with T1D is infected with COVID-19, it can increase the risk for hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

DKA can have symptoms that feel flu-like, as does COVID-19. It is essential to continually check blood glucose levels and seek immediate medical attention if any symptoms of DKA are experienced. 

For more information on managing T1D while ill with COVID-19:

Know the Signs of T1D

According to The New York Times article about the CDC’s data analysis, “Many of the children in the study were only diagnosed (with diabetes) after having an episode of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a (potentially) life-threatening complication that occurs when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow blood sugar into cells for use for energy.”

As members of the T1D community know, DKA can be terrifying and is frequently what leads to diagnosis.

To help prevent DKA at diagnosis, it is important to know of the signs of T1D, and see your primary healthcare providers if any of the following are noted:

Frequent urination

Increased thirst

Dry mouth

Itchy or dry skin

Increased appetite

Unexplained weight loss

Yeast infections

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of T1D:

If you are or a loved one are newly diagnosed with T1D, JDRF Canada has resources and support to help you adapt to your new normal with this disease. Please visit for more information, or connect to our Community Engagement team through our support services:

JDRF will continue to monitor research updates about any connection from COVID-19 to T1D and provide more information as it becomes available.

COVID-19 and type 1 diabetes (T1D) – an update

JDRF is committed to providing the T1D community with the most up-to-date and relevant information about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on those living with the disease.

As of January 2022, Canada is once again amid what appears to be the worst wave of the pandemic, with the emergence of the Omicron variant. This is not the place we imagined we’d be in the beginning of 2022, nearly a year after the vaccine rollout began and two years into the pandemic. It is a time of understandable uncertainty, fear, and frustration.

While we are undoubtedly exhausted and experiencing pandemic fatigue, until the rate of COVID-19 cases declines, we must continue to take every precaution to try our best to prevent exposure for both ourselves and those in our communities.

We recommend getting boosted (a third vaccine dose) if you haven’t already. There are also approved vaccines for children between 5- 11 years old.

Having T1D doesn’t increase the risk of contracting any of the COVID-19 virus variants, but people with T1D – particularly adults – do have an increased risk of serious outcomes if they develop the disease. And Omicron is exceedingly contagious.

Like other COVID variants, Omicron can also be transmitted when a person is asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, so even if you are feeling fine, it is important to always follow these guidelines to protect yourself and those around you.

Important steps to take to limit exposure

COVID-19 is airborne. This means that tiny virus particles can linger in the air after being exhaled by someone who is infectious. Make sure whenever you leave the house and will be in an indoor setting to have a very well-fitting mask. Ideally, wear an N95 mask which can filter out up to 95% of microbes. If you can’t find an N95, double masking with a medical grade surgical mask (the blue masks you can find at pharmacies) with a tightly fitting cloth mask on top can work nearly as well as an N95. An effective way to check if the mask is tight enough is to wear glasses after you have put on your mask(s) and exhale forcefully. If the glasses fog up, this means air is escaping from the sides or top of the mask. Adjust accordingly until the seal is tight.

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Maintain strict hygiene. Wash your hands every time you come home, or after handling/opening a delivery/package etc.

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Good ventilation is essential in an indoor setting. Prolonged exposure to aerosolized particles, which are heavier in indoor spaces with low ventilation, significantly increases your risk of being exposed to COVID-19. If possible, avoid spending time indoors anywhere that is not your household, and do not go anywhere without a well-fitted face covering.

Minimize your social interactions and trips outside the house, if possible, and try to avoid busy times or crowds when you do. Always maintain social distancing from non-household members, including while outdoors. Wear masks whenever you are spending time with anyone who is not in your immediate household. This includes receiving deliveries etc.

What should I do if someone in my family with T1D tests positive, or I test positive and have T1D?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your healthcare professional. There is a shortage of PCR tests across Canada (nasal swab performed by a healthcare professional and tested at a lab). If you have access to rapid antigen tests, and that test shows you are positive, consider that a confirmed infection. You should then follow public health guidelines on isolation (these differ by province) until you are recovered and symptom-free.

Important steps to take when COVID-19 positive with T1D

COVID-19 elevates the risk of diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA). It is essential to more closely monitor your blood glucose levels and ketones. Making sure you are eating and drinking enough when sick is a challenge. Try and ensure you are eating a balance of protein and carbs and drinking plenty of liquids, even if it’s hard.

Additionally, you are likely taking over the counter medications to help manage your symptoms. Decongestants for congestion and cough can raise blood glucose levels. Suspension (or liquid) medication and cough drops frequently contain sugar.

Some fever reduction medications can be hard on the kidney and liver (like acetaminophen found in Tylenol) and should be taken with caution if you have kidney complications. Aspirin in large doses can lower blood glucose levels. Ibuprofen (found in Advil) can increase the hypoglycemic effect of insulin.

All of this can further complicate blood glucose management.

If you use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), flash glucose monitor or finger sticks, checking your blood glucose level every few hours can help you better notice any unusual changes. You may also require more insulin. If you can, make sure you have an extra supply on hand.

As well, be extra vigilant checking for ketones (a sign that the body is using fat and muscle for energy, instead of sugar). DKA requires immediate medical attention. An added challenge is the symptoms of DKA can feel flu-like, as do the symptoms of COVID-19. If you notice increased and rapid breathing, and a fruity or sweet smell emanating from the body – this is a sign that the body is trying to rid itself of ketones.

If you or a loved one with T1D do end up needing to go to the hospital, here is more information on how to best prepare.

For more tips on maintaining more consistent blood sugar readings:

This has been an ongoing time of intense stress. Please ask for help, either from family, trusted friends or a professional if you are overwhelmed. Trying to manage your diabetes along with protecting yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 is not easy. Speak to your healthcare provider or support network about accessing additional resources and help.

Let’s Talk T1D – Diabetes burnout and pandemic fatigue

Summer is here and as Canadians are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, we have decided to take a break from our live Let’s Talk T1D events on Microsoft Teams, and package them in a way that is more convenient for the summer months. 

More Canadians are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and restrictions across the country are easing. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. However, we know that the past 16 months have not been easy, and we’ve all faced different challenges in our lives, including mental health challenges, especially for those impacted by type 1 diabetes (T1D). We know that this pandemic may have been a contributing factor to diabetes burnout and pandemic fatigue. 

As part of this month’s Let’s Talk T1D – education series, we are bringing you information on this topic- one that important to you, as we saw in the results of a survey we sent out to the T1D community. 

In this email you will find links to two videos discussing diabetes burnout and pandemic fatigue. We reached out to Dr. Michael Vallis, Registered Health Psychologist out of Dalhousie University, and Cathy and Anne Pettigrew, a mother and daughter to answer some of your questions. 

In the videos they will address some common questions such as: 

  • What is diabetes distress and burnout and how common is it for people with T1D to experience it? 
  • What are some of the signs to watch out for that a person might be experiencing diabetes distress or burnout? (Are they emotional, physical, or both?) 
  • Were concerns about diabetes distress and burnout intensified during the pandemic? 
  • When is it time to seek help? 
  • What would you like the T1D community to know about prioritizing their emotional health and well-being? 

We thank Dr. Vallis and Anne and Cathy Pettigrew for providing their time, expertise and willingness to share so that we can share with our community and help other who may be experiencing the same know that they are not alone, and support is available. 

For other JDRF resources. 

To watch the videos, click here: