TORONTO -- More than 14 per cent of newly eligible school-aged children in Toronto are already booked to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the city is opening up thousands of new appointments in response to the demand.

The province opened up its appointment booking portal to children aged five to 11 on Tuesday morning following Health Canada’s decision late last week to approve Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine for use in the younger age cohort.

The city says that about 93 per cent of the 30,000 appointments made available on Tuesday were booked within hours. In response to the demand, the city has now added 17,000 additional appointments between Dec. 7 and 11.

It says that with the additional slots, there will now be more than 47,000 available appointments at its five mass vaccination sites over the next two-and-a-half weeks.

“Thank you to the almost 30,000 families who signed up to get their kids vaccinated against COVID-19 in the first hours that appointments were available online today,” Mayor John Tory said in a press release announcing the new appointments. “The Team Toronto Kids COVID-19 vaccination plan is working to help kids be super heroes and get their vaccine doses. We have made more appointments available in our City-run clinics to help even more families get vaccinated over the next two and a half weeks. I continue to encourage all eligible residents to get vaccinated to help protect themselves, their families and their city.”

According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, more than 84,000 individual appointments have been booked for children aged five to 11 as of this afternoon.

The city says that there are still “limited appointments” available at its mass vaccination sites between Nov. 25 and Dec. 5.

It says that school-based mobile clinics will also begin this week and that parents and students will receive information about those clinics “directly from their school and school board.”