WINNIPEG - Manitoba parents of kids ages five to 11 can book COVID-19 immunization appointments today, after the first shipment of pediatric doses landed in Canada over the weekend.
The province’s COVID-19 vaccine task force says its appointment system for arranging for child vaccination opened at 6 this morning following the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine for use in children by Health Canada. Earliest available appointment times reached the morning of Saturday, December 11 within five hours of the system opening on Monday morning.
The province's public health officials say the vaccine will be offered at pharmacies, provincial and regional vaccine clinics, doctors’ offices, urban Indigenous clinics, pop-up sites, and schools. Doses of the vaccine administered to children are a third the size of those given to youth and adults.
The Canadian government says it’s procuring 2.9 million pediatric doses of the vaccine to be distributed to provinces and territories, enough to immunize every child in that age group. Health Canada says a thorough and independent scientific review determined that the benefits of the vaccine for children aged five to 11-years-old outweigh the risks, with the vaccine proving 90.7 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19, and no serious side effects identified.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of the same vaccine for kids in late October, and there have since been over 2.5 million American children immunized against COVID-19 with Comirnaty.
The province says over 2.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccinates have been administered to Manitobans so far, with 87.3 per cent of people aged 12 and up having received at least one dose, and 84.6 having received two. There are around 125,000 children aged five to 11 in Manitoba.
Parents can book children’s COVID-19 vaccination appointments online or by calling 1-844-626-8222.