The BC government has announced the next steps in its plan for the provincial rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, specifically, how immunization will work for those between the ages of 12 and 17.
During a joint press conference on Thursday afternoon, Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry unveiled new details about the phased rollout.
“Appointments are being booked for about 310,000 youth, aged 12 to 17,” Henry said. “All of them are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Currently, it is only the Pfizer vaccine that is licensed for use in children.”
Henry added, however, that they are expecting the Moderna vaccine to be approved for use in the near future.
All youth are encouraged to register either online or by phone through BC’s Get Vaccinated system. They can book an appointment by themselves or have a parent, guardian, or trusted caretaker help them.
Adults who already have an immunization booked in the coming weeks will also be able to bring an eligible youth to receive a vaccination. This will be permitted at all clinics “so that families can go together.”
Henry notes that in this case, it is encouraged that youth are registered, although it will not be required.
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According to the BCCDC, the vaccine can be given to children who take medications regularly, as well as children who identify as being clinically extremely vulnerable.
Children with allergies to any of the vaccine ingredients, however, should not be immunized. And for children with MIS-C (multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children), vaccination should be delayed until after 90 days.
The BCCDC adds that similar to adults, youth will need two vaccine doses for long-term protection. They are also expected to experience similar side effects to adults such as headache, chills, and fever, although they may occur more often.