COVID-19 immunization clinics open to B.C. kids ages 5 to 11 today

COVID-19 immunization clinics open to B.C. kids ages 5 to 11 today
Canadian Press

British Columbia’s health minister says the government is pleased that so many parents are interested in ensuring their children are vaccinated for COVID-19.

Adrian Dix says those who registered their children aged five to 11 should expect to receive an invitation to book an appointment starting Monday.

Dix says about 104,000 children of that group are registered to get vaccinated of the 350,000 eligible to receive the modified dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Health Canada approved the pediatric shot for use in Canada after an independent scientific review confirmed the first vaccine formulated for younger children is safe and effective.

Dix says there may be some frustrations on Day 1 for parents as other people are booking booster shots or making appointments for their first or second vaccination.

He says he understands that many parents are anxious to get this process started for their children and thousands of invitations are going out this week.

“We are off and running with the five-to-11 vaccination campaign and we ask people to be patient, and when their children are invited to be vaccinated to register and get an appointment.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the same vaccine has been administered to more than three million children in the United States and there have been no “safety signals” as a result.

She says the vaccine will help children and families safely return to activities that benefit physical and mental health.

Dr. Penny Ballem, the executive lead for B.C.’s vaccination drive, has said she expects the full children’s immunization effort including second doses to conclude by the end of January.

Also Monday, Dix said the province won’t be making specific changes in response to the latest variant of concern out of southern Africa.

He says the Omicron variant only shows residents need to continue to be vigilant and get their vaccinations.

“We’ll have more to say on those issues tomorrow as we prepare for the holiday season which is obviously a time when lots of people ocme together, Dr. Henry will be speaking to that directly,” said Dix.

B.C. is a world leader in genome sequencing of COVID variants and testing travellers coming back to the province helps protect residents and the health system, he says.

Dix says 400,000 people have already had their booster dose, which will also limit the spread when the Omicron variant makes its way to B.C.

“We’ll make adjustments that are required.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2021.


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