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

In a live press conference Tuesday, BC Health Officials outlined their COVID-19 vaccination plan for children aged 5 to 11 in the province.

Last week, Health Canada announced the approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 in Canada. Currently, this vaccine is the only one approved by Health Canada for this age group.

This vaccine uses a lower dose (10 micrograms), at one-third of the dose formulated for older children and adults, which will provide effective protection tailored to children’s immune systems.

“The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine directly protects children and will mean less disruption to the 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 feel more assured their children are safe, and children can feel empowered knowing they are taking another step to protect their grandparents, teachers, friends and loved ones.”

During the press conference, BC Health Officials outlined how vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 will roll out in the upcoming weeks. 

Step 1: Register

Registration for children aged 5 to 11 is currently underway.

There are over 350,000 children in British Columbia, and over 90,000 have already registered for their dose. 

Parents and guardians in BC can register their children to get vaccinated on the provincial Get Vaccinated website or by calling 1-833-838-2323.

Step 2: Book when invited

Invitations for children vaccinations will begin to roll out Monday, November 29th, delivered in the same order when children were registered. Appointments will be available starting that same day.

Appointments will be mandatory, no drop-ins will be accepted. 

Verbal consent from parent/legal guardian required at time of vaccination.

Step 3: Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations will be administered at health authority clinics by highly-trained health care providers. 

When it is time for your appointment, families can bring all their eligible children to the clinic at the same time, provided each family member is booked at the same clinic at some time during the day.

On-site supports and calm private spaces will also be available for children and families who need it.

BC Health officials remind the public that, after rigorous, independent, scientific review, the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for children. 

The vaccine for children has a smaller dose than the vaccine for those twelve years of age and older. According to officials, this is due to children’s stronger immune system compared to youth and adults. 

Similar to the vaccine program outlined for youth and adults, children five to eleven years old should receive two doses of the vaccine to maximize immunity — there will be about an 8 week gap between vaccines, which was recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. 

In remote First Nations communities, FNHA and the local health authority will come to the community to offer pediatric vaccination to children 5 to 11. 

Parents and guardians in BC can register their children to get vaccinated on the provincial Get Vaccinated website or by calling 1-833-838-2323.

As of Monday, November 22nd,, more than 87% of people aged 12 to 17 and more than 90% of people aged 12 and over have received their first dose of the vaccine.

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