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.
Following 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, regional health authorities will start offering this vaccine at clinics throughout the province on August 2.
“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, on Thursday. “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 August 2.”
The COVID-19 vaccine for the six-month to four-year-olds will be available in all communities through health authority child-friendly clinics.
Parents or guardians seeking vaccinations for their eligible children under the age of five can register them in 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 are not yet six months of age, parents or guardians should still register their child and can expect an invitation once the child reaches six months of age.
“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.”
For children who have already had COVID-19, NACI recommends waiting eight weeks after the start of COVID-19 symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test, before beginning or continuing the primary series. This interval may be shortened to four weeks for children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.
“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, Aug. 2,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead of B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan.
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. Currently, government is expecting these doses to be administered starting August 2, following the long weekend.
* Approximately 208,000 infants and children six months to four years of age are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
* The Moderna vaccine for infants and children from six months to four years old is a two-dose series, given eight weeks apart.
* This Moderna vaccine is a smaller dose of the Moderna vaccine used for children, and it will be available for infants and children under the age of five.
* Younger children need a smaller dose of the vaccine to get the same protection from COVID-19.
* Register children through the Get Vaccinated system.
* Invitations to book an appointment will be sent in August.
To register with the provincial Get Vaccinated system: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for young children: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/