BC rollout of vaccines for kids continues despite flooding

Kids vax 'really important'

Extreme weather has been an added challenge to getting COVID-19 vaccines rolling out to children aged 5-11 in British Columbia, but despite barriers, many kids in the province have already begun receiving their doses.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday that it has been a "Herculean" effort to ensure the supply chain for pediatric vaccines was not disrupted by roadways closed due to flooding.

"I had a wonderful opportunity to be at an immunization clinic yesterday in Victoria. And there was excitement in the room and relief on the faces of parents, and a little bit of anxiety and relief on the faces of children once their vaccines were done," Henry said.

According to Health Minister Adrian Dix, just over 114,000 children aged 5-11 are now registered for their first doses, with 41,697 of them already booked for an appointment.

There are approximately 349,000 children in that age range province-wide.

"The fact that we now have protection for younger children is really, really important. I can't overstate how much that provides us protection, particularly from the severe illness that leads people to need hospital care, ICU care. and all of the impacts that has had on our health care system and that we're seeing in other places, that is still our number one best tool to get us through this," Dix said Tuesday.

The vaccine being administered is a Pfizer-BioNTech two-dose vaccination in a smaller dosage than what is given to adults. It was approved by Health Canada in mid-November.

Notifications as to the local availability of the vaccine will continue to be sent out to families in the coming weeks.

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