Are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines safe for youth?

Question: 

Are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines safe for youth? 

Answer: 
The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are safe for youth.  The vaccines were tested in youth through clinical trials. The Pfizer vaccine was tested in youth aged 12 to 15 through clinical trials that included more than 2200 teens. The Moderna vaccine was tested on more than 3700 teens aged 12 to 17. The clinical trials compared the immune response, safety, and effectiveness of the vaccine to a placebo. Health Canada reviewed the data from the clinical trials and approved the vaccines after determining that: 
 
They are safe.
They are effective (they work).  
The benefits of the vaccines outweigh any risks. 
 
Health Canada has an extensive review and approval process for vaccines. This ensures the safety and quality of vaccines.
 
Since approval, hundreds of millions of mRNA vaccines have been safely given to people 12 years of age and older worldwide. As of November 2021, over two million youth in Canada and over 250 thousand youth in BC aged 12 to 17 had already received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for youth, read the Vaccine Safety for Youth handout from the BCCDC
 
Once a vaccine is approved and begins to be used, its safety is continuously monitored. The purpose of this ongoing monitoring is to identify any possible side effects that were too rare to appear in the clinical trials. When millions of people receive a vaccine, rare side effects may be detected. 
 
Date last reviewed: 
Friday, Nov 19, 2021