COVID vaccination for children over six months now underway in B.C.

COVID vaccination for children over six months now underway in B.C.
Eli Litke, 4, was the first child under five to receive a COVID vaccine in B.C.

B.C. is kicking off its COVID vaccination campaign for children between six months and five years.

Eli Litke, 4, was the first to receive the vaccine in the six month to five years age group.

“Very proud of you, you did great,” Eli’s mom, Danielle Litke said to him after he received his shot. “I was very excited to be asked to be able to participate.”

Danielle says she has three children, and she’s excited that her whole family is now eligible for COVID vaccines.

“All of my children do have a little bit of background with asthma, so for us it was really important to get vaccinated, especially not knowing how it affects their lungs,” Danielle said. “Colds can often affect them really poorly, so this was a big thing for us, just trying to keep them as healthy as we can.”

The vaccine formulation for children in this age group was approved by Health Canada last month. B.C.’s vaccine campaign for this group started on Aug. 2.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer says she is happy the vaccine program is now being rolled out to children six months and older.

“I’m excited and relieved that we finally have vaccines that are available and safe, and work, for the youngest children in our families and our communities,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “Today’s the start of a good opportunity to protect them.”

She says the ideal interval between the first and second dose for children is eight weeks, and urges people to get vaccinated as back to school season nears.

“It’s also incredibly important, as we know, to allow them to continue with activities like daycare, and like going to school,” Henry said. “We need to start thinking in the next few weeks, of back to school, so getting that first dose, and for older children as well.”

Henry notes that some vaccine clinics will be able to offer other types of vaccines as well, if a child needs to be caught up on other vaccinations, in order to get them done at the same time.

For people who are hesitant about the vaccine, Henry says they can be assured these vaccines are safe.

“We know a lot about these vaccines now, we have had millions of people be immunized, we’ve been following all the safety data, these vaccines have been extensively tested now, we know they work, and we know they’re safe,” Henry said.

“I encourage people to talk to their family doctor, talk to their pediatrician, talk to a nurse practitioner, talk to a medical professional and they can give you good information about how these vaccines work.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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