The British Columbia government is scrapping the use of schools across the province and will instead focus on community clinics to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages five to 11.
The clinics are expected to be smaller in scale than the clinics at hockey stadiums and convention centers used for the mass immunization program earlier this year.
Health Canada is expected to make a decision on its review of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11 in one to two weeks from now.
COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year-olds could arrive in ‘one to two weeks’: Health Canada
“I know that the public health team wants to provide the vaccine in a simple and easily accessible place,” said BC Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside.
“That will drive decisions around the location.”
There are about 360,000 British Columbia children between the ages of five and 11 who will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine if approved.
The United States has already approved the use of the Pfizer / Comirnaty vaccine for the age group.
Recent public opinion polls suggest that there are still doubts among parents about allowing their children to get vaccinated.
School outbreaks reignite debate over vaccination mandate
Only about 20 percent of the children in the age group are currently registered through the government website to be notified when they can get the vaccine. Some parents are waiting to register until the vaccine is formally approved.
“Health Canada is not going to approve something that is not safe or effective. Once the vaccine is approved, we will know that it will be safe and effective, ”said Dr. Anna Wolak, a Vancouver family physician.
“I am going to vaccinate my children once the vaccine is approved.”
Currently, public health is working with the education system to provide information about the vaccine directly to parents once it is approved.
Child vaccination planning in BC in progress
The province hopes the information will allow parents to make informed decisions about the vaccine.
“They are working very closely with the Ministry of Education and school districts on the discussions that will take place with the districts on vaccinating children ages five to 11,” Whiteside said.
COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated school-age children have been declining in British Columbia since they peaked in early October.
COVID-19: Vaccine Registry Open for BC 5+ Children, but No Deadline for Approval
But locally there have been outbreaks of COVID-19 among children in areas with lower immunization rates.
This includes shoots at King’s Christian School in Salmon Arm, Vernon Christian School in Vernon, and Mar Jok Elementary in West Kelowna.
“They took out several children, including parents who kept their children healthy because they were concerned about the situation,” said Central Okanagan Teachers Association president Susan Bauhart.
“This is very important here. We haven’t had one since day one. I think it was called too late. “
See link »
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.