Approximately 208,000 eligible infants and children in British Columbia between six months and four years of age will soon be able to receive vaccine protection against COVID-19.
The announcement comes after Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna vaccine, and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) recommendation on its use, for those aged six months to four years.
The vaccine for this age group is a smaller dose of the Moderna vaccine administered as a two-dose series, given eight weeks apart.
Regional health authorities will start offering this vaccine at child-friendly clinics throughout the province on August 2nd.
“B.C. has the capacity and experience to deliver this COVID-19 vaccination campaign for this new age group,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
“Since the start of the vaccination campaign in B.C., almost 12 million doses have been administered to eligible people. I encourage parents to register their kids under the age of five, so they are invited to book an appointment, starting on Aug. 2.”
Parents or guardians can register their children under the age of five with the provincial Get Vaccinated system now.
Once registration is complete, parents or guardians will be invited to book a vaccination at a clinic in their community when the immunization program starts in August.
For children who have already had COVID-19, NACI recommends waiting eight weeks after the start of symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test before continuing the primary series.
“We know that these vaccines are safe and have helped the province weather the COVID-19 pandemic so far,” said Dr. Martin Lavoie, acting provincial health officer.
“Although most children who are infected with this virus have no symptoms or mild symptoms, unfortunately we know that some can get very sick and these vaccines are key to keeping our communities healthy and safe.”
Health Canada, NACI and B.C.’s provincial health officer will continue to monitor the situation for this age group and will update guidance as needed.
“We encourage parents to register their children under five now to get vaccinated so they can get the vaccine as soon as possible when we begin the vaccine rollout on Tuesday, August 2nd” said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead of B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan.