Children as young as 12 in B.C. urged to get vaccinated with their families | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Children as young as 12 in B.C. urged to get vaccinated with their families

FILE PHOTO - Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides a COVID-19 update, May 20, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
May 20, 2021 - 2:50 PM

For the first time since early March the daily count of new COVID-19 cases has dropped below 400 with 357 recorded in the past 24 hours.

There were 33 new cases in the Interior Health region, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a news briefing today, May 20.

She pointed out that children as young as 12 can now register to get vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, the only one licenced so far for people that young. She’s expecting the Moderna vaccine will be approved soon.

“It’s an exciting step for all of us and we know youth are excited, not only because they know it’s important to protect themselves but to protect their families as well,” Dr. Henry said.

If parents of these children already have vaccine appointments, they are invited to take their children with them to be vaccinated at the same time, Dr. Henry said. It’s helpful if the clinic is informed that the children are coming but not necessary.

Children, however, can register on their own and do not need their parent’s consent to get a vaccine, Dr. Henry said.

The vaccinations will be done a clinics so families can be vaccinated together, Dr. Henry said. It would also be logistically difficult to free up health care workers to go into every school, although, in some smaller and remote communities vaccinations may be done in schools.

There is so much vaccine coming into B.C. in the next few weeks that the time between first and second doses for those already vaccinated has been shortened to 13 weeks from 16 weeks so people will be invited soon to get a second vaccine based on their age and whether they are considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

Premier John Horgan, who attended the news briefing, stressed that travel and other restrictions are in place until after this long weekend, despite the lower case counts and higher vaccine rates.

On Tuesday, May 25, the “circuit breaker” for combatting COVID will be over and Dr. Henry will announce how the lockdown rules will be eased.

“Whenever we’ve had a long weekend we’ve seen an increase in case counts, which leads to an increase in fatalities and hospitalizations,” Premier Horgan said.

It’s fine to travel to your cottage within your health authority, he said, but generally people should stay local.

Of the new cases, 210 were in the Fraser Health region, 80 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 12 in the Vancouver Island Health region and 22 in the Northern Health region.

There were three more deaths, including one in Interior Health, bringing the provincial total to 1,661.

There are 4,336 active cases in B.C. with 331 people in hospital, 113 of whom are in intensive care.

Register for vaccinations at the Get Vaccinated website here or by calling 1-833-838-2323.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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