B.C. is expecting to have approval for COVID-19 vaccine delivery to children aged five to 11 before the holiday season, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday.
With Health Canada preparing to approve immunization for children, Henry said she expects there will be enough vaccine for the 300,000 children in the province who will be eligible. Henry urged parents to speak with their doctor or pharmacist about the upcoming vaccination program for children, and to read up on child vaccination at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website to prepare.
More information will be added as approval for Pfizer and Moderna vaccine moves ahead, Henry said. Results from child vaccination in the U.S. have been good, and for children the amount of vaccine is smaller.
“This is a version that is designed specifically for children,” Henry said at a weekly COVID-19 update Nov. 16. “It is a smaller dose, 10 mg, in a smaller amount, and that will mean less pain and discomfort with the shots. But it also means it is tailored for the immune systems of younger children, so it doesn’t cause as much side effect, and it can be strongly effective as well.
“I think it’s important for us to recognize that these vaccines have been used in millions, close to billions now, around the world, and we know a lot about them now.”
B.C. parents have already begun to register their children for vaccination. Registration and booking appointments in B.C. can be done online here, or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Henry also urged people to get their seasonal influenza shot before the holiday season begins, and families and friends gather indoors for Christmas and other religious holidays. Flu shots are being delivered at pharmacies around the province.