The province announced today that all BC children aged five to 11 will be able to get a COVID-19 pediatric vaccine starting Nov. 29. The announcement follows Health Canada's approval last Friday of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine, which was found to be safe and effective for this age group.
An estimated 350,000 children in BC will be eligible to register through the BC Get Vaccinated system. Children must be at least five years old at the time of registration. Invitations to book an appointment will begin next week.
Vaccinations will be given by appointment only through clinics offered by health authorities. Schools will not be used except in a few cases and pharmacies will not carry the pediatric vaccine.
If multiple children in the same family are booked on the same day at the same clinic, they may all attend together at the first scheduled appointment.
The First Nations Health Authority and/or the regional health authority will support remote First Nations communities to offer pediatric vaccinations. This will often be done at the same time booster doses are offered to adults age 18 and older. (Doses one and two will also be offered at these clinics for people age 12 and older).
The vaccine for children has a smaller dose than the vaccine for those 12 and up. This is because healthy children have a stronger immune system than youth and adults. In clinical trials, lower doses provided children with very good protection against COVID-19. It's not clear yet how long protection will last.
Children aged five to 11 years getting the vaccine should receive two doses at least eight weeks apart as recommended by The National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Permission and Consent
A parent or guardian must attend the clinic with the child to provide verbal consent for the vaccination. No written consent is required unless an adult other than the parent or guardian accompanies the child. Written consent should include the contact information of a parent or guardian.
Are you an adult and need to get vaccinated?
It's still important that people age 12 and older get their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
To register for a vaccine clinic, visit: gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html. Find a vaccine clinic in your region at: gov.bc.ca/vaxforbc. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines see: fnha.ca/vaccine.
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Infographic: COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5-11 (PDF)