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COVID-19 vaccine for kids 6 months to 5 years could be available by end of summer in B.C.

Click to play video: 'B.C. provides update on booster program' B.C. provides update on booster program
B.C. health officials providing an update to the vaccine program on Tuesday afternoon and say the uptake of the booster program is low. The number of British Columbians who have received a third dose is low compared to the first and second doses. Richard Zussman has more. – May 10, 2022

Young children may soon be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says Health Canada is currently reviewing a submission from Moderna that could lead to approval.

“Health Canada has just started looking at those data and it often takes weeks to months. It has not been approved for use anywhere in the world yet. It is good to know it is coming,” Henry said.

“There is the potential that we will have vaccination for younger kids maybe as early as late summer.”

Pfizer has also asked for approval but the vaccination formulation for six months to five-year-olds was not giving a strong immune response with two doses.

They added a third dose and are expected to submit data based on that dosage at some point this summer.

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Read more: COVID-19: British Columbians hospitalized with the virus drops slightly

The vaccine is not aimed at infants up to six months because scientists believe there is immunity provided by a vaccinated mother up until that point.

The province has estimated around 70 per cent of children from zero to five in the province have had COVID, but there have been very few instances of severe illness or death in the age group.

Henry also acknowledges the province is struggling to get vaccination rates up for those five to 11. Currently, the rate is below 60 per cent for full vaccination, one of the lowest rates in the country.

“I know a lot of young people have had an infection. That does not mean you do not need a vaccine. They work together,” Henry said.

“Appointments are available. It is easy now. I encourage people to get that extra protection.”

Read more: Naturopaths, chiropractors have lowest vaccination rates in B.C., officials say

Henry and Dix also provided an update on the booster program and health-care worker vaccination rates.

Henry said 93.9 per cent of regulated health-care workers were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of April 25.

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She released a breakdown of vaccination rates among each profession, based on data gathered from 17 of B.C.’s 18 regulated colleges. The College of Nurses and Midwives was not included because of a high volume of registered workers.

“I hope seeing this is reassuring to people and leads to conversations about the importance of getting the vaccination,” Henry said.

In the last weekly COVID-19 report, on May 5, the province reported a decrease in COVID-related hospital admissions for the first time since April 7.

Since the start of the pandemic, British Columbia has reported a total of 365,577 cases and 3,226 deaths.

Click to play video: 'Advocacy group gets green light to challenge COVID rules' Advocacy group gets green light to challenge COVID rules
Advocacy group gets green light to challenge COVID rules – May 6, 2022

Read more: Experiencing brain fog from long COVID? Two B.C. companies want to help

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Meanwhile, two B.C. companies are offering a free, three-month rehabilitation program for British Columbians suffering from brain fog as a result of their long COVID.

According to ABI Wellness in Langley, three in 10 cases of COVID-19 become long-COVID, and 75 per cent include cognitive and neurological symptoms, such as brain fog. Brain fog can slow down one’s processing speed, memory and recall, impacting a person’s ability to perform daily tasks.

Long COVID can also lead to neuroinflammation, microhemorrhages, signs of lack of oxygen, and cell death, added Shaun Porter, neuroscientist and chief operating officer at ABI Wellness.

— with files from Elizabeth McSheffrey

Click to play video: 'B.C. companies offer free program for long COVID sufferers' B.C. companies offer free program for long COVID sufferers
B.C. companies offer free program for long COVID sufferers – May 9, 2022

 

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