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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2021HLTH0209-002245
Nov. 23, 2021
Ministry of Health
Safe, effective COVID-19 pediatric vaccine available for children aged 5-11

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

“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.”

On Nov. 19, 2021, after a thorough review, Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children  five to 11. 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 National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advises that children receive a two-dose series 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 young ones, and the most important thing to know is that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 in children,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The pediatric vaccine is welcome news for parents and children, bringing us one step further in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and helping us put this pandemic behind us.”

The pandemic has had a significant impact on young children who have missed out on school and other important social activities. While children are at lower risk of severe disease from COVID-19, it can still result in hospitalization or have long-term impacts. Getting vaccinated will help families get back to many key activities in their communities.

Parents and guardians who have registered their child with Get Vaccinated will begin receiving invitations on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, to book appointments. Registration ensures parents are notified by text or email when it is time to book their child’s appointment.

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

Some health authorities are hosting clinics dedicated to children in certain communities. Pharmacies will continue to offer first, second and booster doses only to eligible adults 12 and older, at this time.

Parents or guardians with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for their child can 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 they can make the best decision for their child.

Quick Facts:

  • There are approximately 350,000 children in B.C. eligible for the COVID-19 pediatric vaccine.
  • Children are eligible for the pediatric vaccine on or after their fifth birthday.
  • Approximately 90,000 children have been registered with Get Vaccinated.
  • As of Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, 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.

Learn More:

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

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

Read Health Canada’s statement 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-years-of-age.html

To register to be immunized or to learn about getting your second dose, visit:
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 on school outbreaks will be posted online: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures

To learn about the BC Vaccine Card and how to access yours, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html

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 provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, 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 guidance on restrictions, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions

The latest updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre 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 

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Health
Media Relations
250 952-1887 (media line)
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect