Better protection from COVID-19 for infants and young children will soon be coming to BC following Health Canada's approval of SpikeVax, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
Children between the ages of six months and five years can now get the vaccine, which uses a smaller dosage of the same mRNA vaccine already used for youth and adults. Young children need a smaller dose of the vaccine to get the same protection from COVID-19.
"First Nations parents are anxious to protect their young children from COVID-19 and will be happy to hear this news," said FNHA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. "FNHA is ready and able to provide vaccines to this group as soon as it is available."
As with all vaccines and medications, the Public Health Agency of Canada will monitor the safety of the vaccine and has required the manufacturer to provide all updates in data on its safety and effectiveness. No safety issues have been identified to date, and hundreds of thousands of doses of this vaccine have been administered in other jurisdictions, such as the United States.
An estimated 210,000 children across BC are in the age range eligible to receive this vaccine. For those parents living in community (on reserve) contact your Community Health Nurse to schedule your appointment. For children and families living away-from-home (off reserve), parents are encouraged to register their children through the Get Vaccinated BC registration system to get vaccinated in a health authority clinic.
The vaccine is highly recommended for all ages, but it is particularly important to get the vaccine for young children now that it is available. Young children were the last age group to be eligible for vaccine, leaving many parents worried about their kids in the meantime. While most children have more mild illness, thousands been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
Children who have tested positive for COVID-19 or display symptoms of the virus should still get vaccinated. They can get the vaccine eight weeks after their symptoms started or they tested positive for COVID-19.