Canada to Receive First Shipment of Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccines

New Brunswick issued a statement indicating that vaccine eligibility will be expanded to include children aged five to 11 as soon as a supply of pediatric doses is received, but the province has not provided information on when it is expected.

Many Ontario public health units had not updated their deployment plans by Sunday afternoon, with regions like Peel, Windsor-Essex and Waterloo saying on Friday that appointments were due to open early in this day. week.

Durham Region said on Friday it plans to open booking sites on Monday, while Toronto Public Health issued a statement on Friday saying it was preparing to open 20,000 slots between November 25 and 5. December in city-run vaccination clinics.

Manitoba was one of the few jurisdictions to publish information on reservations before Sunday. The province announced Friday that parents and caregivers could begin making first-dose appointments for eligible children by phone or online starting at 6 a.m. Monday.

Sean Sedlacek, a father in Winnipeg, said he would try to make an appointment for his five-year-old son as soon as slots opened up.

Sedlacek said he and his wife felt “an incredible sense of relief” on Friday when news broke that Health Canada had cleared Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine.

Sedlacek and his wife made an appointment to get the shot once they were eligible earlier this year, and said they wanted to do the same for their only child.

“We really want him to be as protected as possible,” he said. “I know the risks are much lower for young children, but you can’t control what other people are doing. I just want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to protect our family.

In British Columbia, parents have already been able to pre-register their child for an appointment online or by phone. The province said more than 75,000 children had signed up as of Friday, putting them on a list to contact for an appointment when reservations open.

Alberta has announced a similar pre-registration program, adding that the province is expected to start administering injections at the end of the week provided the doses arrive as scheduled.

Saskatchewan is due to release details of its plans to immunize the estimated 115,000 children in the five to 11 year age group on Monday. Health and education officials are scrambling to install clinics in schools, and Education Minister Dustin Duncan said last week that the government is also working on a plan to ensure that anti-vaccination protesters do not show up in schools as they do in hospitals.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said on Friday that the province’s vaccination plan would be unveiled this week, adding that he hoped to vaccinate 700,000 children in the approved age group with their first dose. by Christmas.

Some public health units are setting up vaccination clinics in schools and expanding existing mass vaccination sites. Pharmacies and family doctor’s offices are also expected to offer jabs in some jurisdictions.

Toronto has said hundreds of schools in Ontario’s most populous city will host clinics, but vaccines will not be distributed during school hours.

Children should not be vaccinated without parental consent.

Canada expects an accelerated delivery of 2.9 million child-sized doses, enough for a first vaccine for every child in the 5 to 11 age group.

The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children on October 29, and the United States has already vaccinated more than two million children.

Dr Samira Jeimy, allergist and immunologist at Western University in London, Ont., Said it can be frustrating for parents eager to be told they have to wait to make an appointment for their vaccines. children.

“I don’t blame parents who are waiting at the edge of their seats – like me,” she said in an interview on Saturday. “I understand from a point of view of trying to keep things organized, but I feel like we really should have been prepared to mobilize things.”

– With files from Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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