Starting Wednesday morning, Alberta parents can book COVID-19 vaccines for their children.
“Pfizer supply for children arrived in the province today and the teams at Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health are working to get them distributed to more than 120 locations across the province over the next couple of days,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
On Nov. 23 Kenney announced COVID-19 vaccine bookings for children ages five to 11 would begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
This followed a Nov. 19 Health Canada announcement authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty for use in children ages five to 11.
In a press statement, Health Canada said it determined that benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risk of COVID-19 in that age group.
Clinical trials showed there were no safety issues detected in the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine and the vaccine offered good protection from the virus a couple of months following vaccination.
Kenney said children in this age group would still be exempt from the restriction exemption program and if parents have questions, they can reach out to the 811 Heathlink service or a medical professional.
“We want parents to take the time they need to assess their situation, review the data, and make the best choice for their kids and their family,” said Kenney.
Clinical trials showed the vaccine was 90.7-per-cent effective at preventing COVID in children ages five to 11, and the immune response was comparable to people ages 16 to 25 years of age.
The doses for children in the five to 11 age group are lower than the dose for those age 12 and up. Health Canada has authorized “a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms to be administered three weeks apart.”
Province-wide data shows 75.2 per cent of the population has had one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 70.8 per cent are fully vaccinated. Provincially, of those age 12 and up, 88.4 per cent have had one dose of the vaccine, while 83.3 per cent are fully dosed.
Alberta-wide, there are 5,001 active COVID cases, with 475 of those people in the hospital, and 94 in ICU. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,227 people have died from the virus in the province.