Approval of COVID-19 vaccines for kids expected imminently: B.C. Health Minister
Health Canada is expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged five to 11 in a decision that B.C's Health Minister confirms is imminent.
"It's our expectation that it's going to happen in the next 24 hours," said Health Minister Adrian Dix on Thursday afternoon.
"And then it requires the delivery of vaccine, and then we're going to proceed with our plan," he added.
Dix said the timeline for when the first shots will go into the arms of youth in B.C. will be unveiled on Tuesday.
But for now, he's encouraging parents across the province, and "everybody on Vancouver Island," to register their kids for it right away.
Meanwhile, Ontario's chief provincial health officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, said Wednesday that his province will have vaccine's rolling out for youth later this month. He indicated that the two shots would likely be spaced out by eight weeks.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease expert, says that an eight week interval between shots is thought to improve effectiveness and reduce the odds of any rare complications.
"If you separate them by (roughly) two months you have a more robust immune response," said Bogoch.
Many parents have been anxiously awaiting this news, as have teachers.
"Certainly what I'm hearing from teachers is concern about travel over the winter break and what that might mean in January," said Winona Waldron, the president of the Greater Victoria Teachers Association.
The province is also gearing up for a major campaign in the next week to educate and persuade families who are not convinced the shot is a good plan for their children.
"There will be a significant effort to provide information and answer all the questions that parents might have about the immunization," said Dix.
As of Thursday, roughly 85 per cent of kids aged 12 through 17 have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in B.C.