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B.C. opens vaccination registration for children ages five to 11

Update: B.C. health officials said parents can now register their children aged five to 11 for the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Lydia Melo, 7, is inoculated with one of two reduced doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine during a trial at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on Sept. 28, 2021. (SHAWN ROCCO/DUKE UNIVERSITY)

Update: B.C. health officials said parents can now register their children aged five to 11 for the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement Sunday, spokesman Jeffrey Ferrier said parents can register their children through the Get Vaccinated portal (getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca), although it is unclear when the shot for children will be approved.

Ferrier said people are scheduled for their vaccination based on when it’s their turn, not when they register.

He said the province will notify parents when it’s their turn to book an appointment for their children.

Pfizer Canada said last week it is preparing to seek Health Canada's authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 by mid-October.

Premier John Horgan said officials in B.C. are working on logistics of delivering the vaccines to children if and when that approval comes.

— The Canadian Press

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Earlier story: 

B.C. is one step closer towards vaccinating children ages five to 11 with a COVID-19 vaccine.

The province’s Get Vaccinated website is now accepting registration for younger kids, even though Health Canada has not yet approved a COVID-19 vaccine for this age group.

The Health Ministry did not announce the expansion of registration eligibility, but on Saturday, many parents were reporting on social media that they were able to register their children within this age range.

The registration process — which requires the name, date of birth, and a personal health number of the person getting vaccinated — is just one step toward getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Registrants or their parents or guardians will receive a notification when they’re able to book a vaccination appointment.

Last week, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech asked U.S. regulators to approve emergency use of their vaccine, marketed under the brand name Comirnaty, for children five to 11 years old. A Canadian spokeswoman said the company is working with Health Canada on the final steps. It plans to file a submission by mid-October.

The pediatric data on kids between five and 11 showed a safe and strong immune response from two doses which are one-third the size given to teens and adults.

Pfizer’s vaccine is already authorized for people age 12 and older.

Some regions in B.C. have seen a rise in COVID-19 infections among children since the start of the school year.

Up to 10 per cent of children between five and 11 have tested positive for the virus in the eastern Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Hope, prompting new regional restrictions.

Last week, B.C. expanded its mask-wearing requirement to include all children attending kindergarten to Grade 12 schools.

A vaccine mandate for teachers and school staff appears imminent, but details on who should implement it remain unclear. Premier John Horgan said Thursday that it’s up to elected trustees to decide on vaccine mandates rather than have them enforced by the province.

However, Teri Mooring, head of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, said a vaccine mandate should be provincewide instead of relying on 60 school districts to come up with their own requirements.

chchan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cherylchan

— with files from The Canadian Press

> B.C. government’s vaccination registration website: getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca