Children aged 6 months to 4 years old now receiving COVID-19 vaccinations on Island

COVID-19 vaccinations are now accessible to more children on Vancouver Island and across the province.

The province began accepting COVID vaccine appointments for children between six months and four years old this week, providing a 25-microgram dose of the Moderna mRNA vaccine. It is a quarter of an adult dosage, the province said, and a second dose can be administered eight weeks after the first.

Among those receiving the vaccine was three-year-old Eva Boutin, who got a shot at the health unit on the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital site Friday, Aug. 5. Mother Caitlin said Eva is the last member of the family to be immunized. Multiple members of the family have chronic health conditions, she said, making vaccination all the more important.

The family had COVID-19 earlier in the year and Eva had a fever for 24 hours.

“She’s been really excited,” said Caitlin. “She came along when her brother got vaccinated earlier and was really upset that she couldn’t get a vaccine and so she’s asked several times when she gets to have hers … we tried to explain to her in an age-appropriate way about COVID.”

In a July press release, Dr. Martin Lavoie, a B.C. deputy provincial health officer, said the vaccines have been tested.

“We know that these vaccines are safe and have helped the province weather the COVID-19 pandemic so far,” he said. “Although most children who are infected with this virus have no symptoms or mild symptoms, unfortunately we know that some can get very sick and these vaccines are key to keeping our communities healthy and safe.”

Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health, encouraged parents to have children vaccinated, as the province has the capacity and experience after previously immunizing other age groups.

“Since the start of the vaccination campaign in B.C., almost 12 million doses have been administered to eligible people,” the minister said in the press release. “I encourage parents to register their kids under the age of five, so they are invited to book an appointment.”

According to Island Health, more than 2,500 children in the region aged six months to four years have either signed up for or had a vaccine, as of Aug. 5.

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