Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the COVID-19 vaccine should be available to children aged five to 11-years-old before the holidays.
The announcement was made at a COVID-19 press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Vaccinations will not be mandatory, but Dr. Henry strongly recommends that parents do the research and choose to get their young children vaccinated.
Parents will be able to register their children to be vaccinated on the same BC health portal as adults.
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Dates for availability have not yet officially been announced, as Health Canada is expected to approve vaccinations for children within the next week.
Dr. Henry said that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) would put forward their recommendations for vaccination at the same time as Health Canada. Pfizer was the first company to seek approval for pediatric COVID-19 immunization. It is expected that children five to 11 will get a smaller dose of vaccine than those 12 and up. Moderna is also seeking approval for their vaccine for children.
Currently, only youth aged 12 and up have been approved for the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Vaccinating children in the younger age group will not be mandatory, but it will give your children as much protection as possible,” Dr. Henry said.
“The best path to immunity is not through illness; it’s through immunization.”
At a public health briefing last week, Canada’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, suggested that children under 12 had the highest COVID-19 incidence rates across Canada.