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Alberta’s government welcomes the news that Health Canada has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11. Vaccines are expected to arrive in the province the week of Nov. 22.
Provided supply is delivered as expected, Alberta plans to begin administration by late next week. More information regarding bookings and appointments will be shared once they are available.
Currently, parents and guardians can pre-register their children in the Alberta Vaccine Booking system to be ready when appointments open.
“I know many Alberta families are breathing a collective sigh of relief knowing that we are now able to offer their children protection from COVID-19. Our province has proven it is able to safely and quickly deliver significant volumes of doses, and this time will be no different. We are well-prepared to administer doses to children as soon as their parents and guardians are ready to book their appointments.”
“While children are at a significantly lower risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, they can still get infected with the virus and transmit it to others. This is especially important as we head into the winter season and are largely gathering indoors. As parents consider this choice for their children, please consult reliable information sources and consider the benefits not just for our children but for those around them as well.”
Restrictions Exemption Program
Children under 12 will continue to have access to businesses and venues participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, regardless of their vaccination status.
The Restrictions Exemption Program has been working well with these younger children being able to access facilities with their parents or guardians who are able to meet the program requirements, or participating in youth activities while following current public health measures.
- Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine approved for use in children aged five to 11 in Canada.
- Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11 on Nov. 19. It has also been approved for use in the U.S.
- More than 390,000 Albertans aged five to 11 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
- To date in Alberta:
- For children aged five to 11, there have been about 30,700 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed since March of 2020, with 78 of those cases ending up in hospital and 20 in intensive care.
COVID-19 in children
- Children under 12 years of age have the highest rate of new cases in Canada.
- Most cases in children are milder than adults but some kids can get very sick, have long-lasting symptoms or complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
- Children can spread the virus even if they don't have symptoms, potentially exposing vulnerable friends, family or community members.
- Each person infected with COVID-19 provides a chance for the virus to mutate and become more resistant to treatments or vaccines. Fewer infections means less chance of dangerous variants.
- The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends eligible children be vaccinated. While kids have a lower risk of severe illness, vaccines offer the best protection from getting or spreading COVID-19.
- Since COVID-19 is a new virus, no one has pre-existing immunity.
- Immunity for people who have had COVID-19 may not last long and it's not as strong as vaccine protection.