B.C. health officials said Wednesday they will start vaccinating children 12 and older around the province over the next few months.
In an impromptu availability, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said a lot of vaccine doses will be arriving in the province over the next few months, and they’re hoping to get children 12 and older vaccinated with their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine before the end of June.
Henry said this is about 300,000 people.
She added it’s important for the 12 and older age bracket to get vaccinated, as transmission among adults has “dramatically decreased” since more people have become vaccinated.
With anyone 12 and above getting the vaccine, the hope is that it will dramatically decrease transmission within this age group as well.
Health Canada announced Wednesday it is authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15, meaning that the jab is now approved for anyone over the age of 12 in Canada.
Until now, the shot had only been approved for Canadians over the age of 16.
“This is the first vaccine authorized in Canada for the prevention of COVID-19 in children, and marks a significant milestone in Canada’s fight against the pandemic,” said Health Canada’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Supriya Sharma.
Canada is the first country in the world to extend this approval to children, Sharma added.
The announcement comes after the drugmakers said their vaccine was found to be safe and effective and produced robust antibody responses in 12- to 15-year-olds in a clinical trial late last month.
The trial involved 2,200 adolescents between 12 and 15.
-with files from Rachael Gilmore.