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B.C. gearing up to deliver COVID-19 vaccination to younger children

Parents urged to register kids age 5-11 for community clinics
Kane Peterson, 9, gets a his COVID-19 vaccination at North Sound Pediatrics in Everett, WA on Nov. 6, 2021. B.C. is delivering vaccines for children aged 5-11 to community clinics starting in December. (Kevin Clark/Everett Herald)

Child-sized doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are due to start arriving in B.C. next week, and distribution to community clinics begins by end of November, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday.

Details of the immunization program are to be released next Tuesday (Nov. 23) by Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in their weekly pandemic update. There are about 360,000 B.C. children eligible for the vaccine, which is a third of an adult dose, and they will mostly be immunized at community clinics rather than at schools.

People with questions about vaccines should consult their doctor or nurse practitioner, and a public information campaign will begin next week, he said.

There are about 75,000 children already registered by their parents, and Dix urged everyone to get their children registered so clinic invitations can be sent out once they are prepared to deliver child vaccinations in a community. Registration and booking appointments in B.C. can be done online here, or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week.

There will be some school-based vaccination clinics, but experience with older children has shown that community clinics work the best for families, Dix said. More than 90 per cent of 17-year-olds are vaccinated, but the total for 12-year-olds stands at 76 per cent, he said.

Booster doses for double-vaccinated seniors are also continuing, with about one out of four people aged 70 and up having received their third doses at community clinics. B.C. health authorities continue to operate scheduled appointment COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the province for people aged 12 and older. A list of clinic locations and hours by region can be found here.

RELATED: Health Canada approves Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11

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