Parents in British Columbia can register their children aged five to 11 years old for a COVID-19 vaccine, but it remains unclear when they will be able to get their shots.
The province has not promoted the early registrations for younger kids, but a keen-eyed parent alerted Global News to the fact children in the age range can be registered through the Get Vaccinated website.
Parents are still not able to actually book a vaccine appointment, as no COVID-19 vaccine has yet been approved in Canada for kids under the age of 12.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said Saturday that registrations had been open “all along.”
“Throughout the pandemic, B.C.’s approach to vaccination booking is that we provide notification to people when it’s their turn to book. You are scheduled based on when it’s your turn, not when you register,” the spokesperson said.
“The Province is preparing to be able to offer vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 once it is approved by Health Canada. Public health is carefully monitoring the Health Canada review of COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, and will make decisions for B.C. based on science.”
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, the producers of the most common vaccine in Canada, have officially applied for its emergency use for children in the United States.
The companies have sent their initial trial data for the vaccine regarding kids aged five-11 to Health Canada, and are expected to make a formal submission for vaccine approval by mid-October.
Children remain the largest segment of unvaccinated British Columbians, with kids under 10 representing about half of the estimated 1 million people in the province who have yet to have one dose of vaccine.
Earlier this week, the independent BC COVID Modelling Group released data showing rising case numbers in children in some health authorities, potentially contributing to higher overall community spread.