Toronto teen with diabetes pleads for presidency to start vaccinating youth


Ainsley Harris, 14, has type 1 diabetes.

“My pancreas has stopped working and my body can no longer produce insulin,” she said.

As someone with a chronic illness, they are considered a vulnerable population by Health Canada’s standards.

Her 12-year-old sister Juliet has a different condition, but is also at risk.

“I want to keep my children safe,” her mother Lindsay Harris told CTV News Toronto. “For a type 1 diabetic, every type of illness is associated with a high risk. A stomach flu can send her to the emergency room. “

Health Canada recently approved Pfizer for use in children 12 years and older. Some children at risk in other provinces, including Alberta, have already received their first dose.

“The idea behind the first dose is that it exposes your body to this pathogen and says, ‘This is a problem, you need to make antibodies against it,” said Dr. Colin Furness, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto.

Despite Health Canada’s vaccine expansion, their children were turned away from a mass vaccination center in Toronto on Tuesday.

“They said, ‘No, we can’t. We can’t vaccinate them. You’re not 18, ”she said.

The Ontario government says it plans to set a vaccination date for teenagers in June.

“That is extremely important. We want to make sure our young people can get the doses as soon as possible, ”Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliot said at a press conference Wednesday.

Ontario Attorney General Sylvia Jones says the first dose offers “a very high percentage of protection”.

“Once we are able to have adequate supplies to expand into our youth,” she added.

Harris’ kids don’t like needles, but they want a vaccine.

“I want to get it because I know it will protect me a lot from COVID-19 and I think that’s really important,” said Juliet.

The family asks for clear communication.