B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says middle and high school students should not expect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at school.
In a wide ranging interview, Henry said the full details on how 12- to 17-year-old kids will be immunized will be released next week, but for now clinics will be location for shots.
“We have been working with our immunization committee on this and what we are hearing is probably the simplest way to do this is to go to our clinics, she said.
“Whether they community clinics in the smaller communities or the mass clinics in the larger areas. But we will have more information on this coming soon. I am getting the advice from the people on the ground.”
The B.C. government recently announced an extension of the immunization plan to those under the age of 18. Health Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids in middle and high school, after global studies.
Moderna is close to completing a study on whether than COVID-19 vaccine can be used in children.
Henry said she hopes to start getting 16, 17 and 18 year olds immunized in order to provide some certainty around graduation ceremonies. The events will not look anything like pre-pandemic high school graduations but they are expected to be larger than a year ago.
“I know that young people have been so impacted by this pandemic and have had so little influence on what is happening around them, we are committed and have been working on guidance on how to have a safe graduation this summer,” Henry said.
“I will be encouraging all 16, 17, 18 year olds to get vaccinated and that will help. It means we can do things for graduation that we couldn’t do last year.”
Eighteen year olds will be eligible to book vaccine starting on Sunday. In order to book a vaccine, you have to register for the vaccine on the B.C. government website.
Henry says she understands some people have concerns about vaccine risks, especially for those who are pregnant and youth, but all Health Canada-approved vaccines are safe.
–with files from the Canadian Press