Safe, effective COVID-19 pediatric vaccine available for children aged 5-11

Children aged five to 11 in British Columbia will soon have access to Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

“The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine protects children directly and will mean less disruption to activities that are important to them, such as school, sports and social events,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “Once children are vaccinated, parents can rest assured that their children are safe, and children can feel empowered in the knowledge that they are taking another step to protect their grandparents, teachers, friends and loved ones.”

On November 19, 2021, after a thorough review, Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11. This vaccine uses a lower dose (10 micrograms), one third of the dose formulated for older children and adults, which will provide effective protection tailored to the immune system of children. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advises children to receive a series of two doses of the vaccine with an interval of eight weeks or more between the first and second dose.

“We all want to make the best decisions for our children, and the most important thing to know is that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in children,” said Adrian Dix, health minister. “The pediatric vaccine is welcome news for parents and children, it takes us one step further in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and helps us move beyond this pandemic.”

The pandemic has had a significant impact on young children who have missed school and other important social activities. While children have a lower risk of serious illness from COVID-19, it can still lead to hospitalization or have long-term consequences. Getting vaccinated allows families to return to many important activities in their communities.

Parents and guardians who have registered their child with Get Vaccinated will receive invitations to make appointments from Monday, November 29, 2021. Registration ensures that parents are notified by text or email when it’s time to book their child’s appointment.

“We are proud of the work we have done with health authorities to ensure children across the province can be vaccinated as soon as possible in family-friendly, accessible clinics,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, Executive Director of BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Program. “Parents and guardians can rest assured that immunizers in our clinics are trained to vaccinate children, providing a positive experience for children and families.”

Some health authorities run clinics for children in certain communities. At this time, pharmacies will continue to offer first, second, and booster doses only to eligible adults ages 12 and older.

Parents or guardians with questions about their child’s COVID-19 vaccine should call 1-833-838-2323 or visit: gov.bc.ca/vaccineforkids

Parents can also consult with their child’s pediatrician, family doctor or nurse practitioner so that they can make the best decision for their child.

Quick Facts:

There are approximately 350,000 children in BC who are eligible for the COVID-19 pediatric vaccine. Children are eligible for the pediatric vaccine on or after their fifth birthday. About 90,000 children are registered with Get Vaccinated. As of Monday, November 22, 2021, more than 87% of people aged 12 to 17 and more than 90% of people aged 12 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Learn more:

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children: gov.bc.ca/vaccineforkids

For the November 23 slide presentation, COVID-19 Update: Immunization of Children Ages 5 to 11: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Immunization_of_Children.pdf

Read the statement from Health Canada here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2021/11/health-canada-authorizes-use-of-comirnaty-the-pfizer-biontech-covid- 19- vaccine-in-children-5-to-11-year-olds.html

To register to be vaccinated or to learn more about getting your second dose, go to:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register
Or: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/dose-2

As they become available, information about school outbreaks will be posted online: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures

Visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html for more information about the BC Vaccine Card and how to access yours.

Detailed data is posted daily on the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data or: www.bccdc.ca

For the orders and guidance of the provincial health officer, please visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid- 19 novel coronavirus

For advice on restrictions, go to:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions

The latest updates, including case count, prevention, risks and to find a testing center near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

For COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information, visit:

Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures

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