MLHU ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 after Health Canada approval – London
The Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) says it is ready to roll out as soon as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children aged 5 to 11.
On Thursday, Global News confirmed that officials at the health agency are expected to announce on Friday that they have approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in Canadian children in that age group.
Speaking about the pending announcement, the powerful MLHU health official said they were expecting the rollout to be quick.
Dr Alex Summers told reporters: “We have been holding back appointments in anticipation that children under 12 will be approved soon, so there will be appointments available shortly. ,” Dr. Alex Summers told reporters.
Summers says between 70 and 75 percent of their upcoming appointments are for kids to help get kids vaccinated as soon as possible.
Much of the planning depends on when the doses will arrive, but Summers is optimistic that once the announcement is made, they will give the children a dose for the week.
What parents need to know about children’s COVID-19 vaccines
The medical unit cannot use pre-existing doses of Pfizer vaccine because the shot given to children is slightly different.
Summers said the dose given to people aged five to 11 years old has lower levels of antigens, part of the vaccine that increases the development of antibodies.
MLHU says rollout of COVID-19 vaccine to 34,000 children aged 5-11 will happen quickly once approved
Summers also notes that they probably won’t allow people under the age of 5 to get the vaccine, even if their birthday is in the same year, unlike they did with children turning 12.
“That can change, but as kids get younger, the difference between someone just turning four or five, is pretty significant,” Summers said.
Once the vaccine arrives, MLHU is likely to make sure all children 5 years of age and older are vaccinated over a four-week period, but that will depend on how many parents enroll their children.
“The mass immunization clinics have been preparing for weeks to make (them) as child and family friendly as possible,” Summers said.
Preparing children for COVID-19 vaccinations
Among the ways the medical unit is trying to make vaccination less intimidating is introducing the vaccine superhero, who will be seen at some mass clinics.
“Our vaccine superhero would love to have you join them in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Summers said.
COVID-19: 13 cases in Middlesex London; 15 cases in Elgin and Oxford
Summers said they’ll also spend more time on each appointment and will have items in place to help distract the kids and make the process less intimidating.
People 11 years of age and younger account for more than 21% of active cases and have the largest case rate per 100,000 of all other age groups.
Regarding vaccination rates, for ages 12 to 17, 83.8% were vaccinated with at least one dose and 89.7% were fully vaccinated.
There are no appointments available for those 11 and under, but when they do, information can be found on the medical unit’s website, where people can also find information about pop clinics -up, mass vaccination room and pharmacy. Guidance for anyone going to vaccinate outside the province, abroad; support means of transport for those in need; and more.
Anyone who wants to be tested for COVID-19 can find information about the locations of testing points on the medical unit’s website.
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