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COVID vaccines: 57% of Delta children have first vaccine dose

43% of five-to-11-year-olds in Delta have not received their first dose as of Jan. 25, as NACI strengthens its recommendation to vaccinate all age-eligible children
Delta is one of the top communities in Fraser Health for children’s COVID vaccinations.

Delta is one of the top communities in Fraser Health for children’s COVID vaccinations.

As of Jan. 25, 57% of Delta children ages five to 11 have received their first dose of Pfizer pediatric vaccine.

New Westminster continues to lead the way for children's COVID vaccinations in Fraser Health with 60% of children aged five to 11 having received their first dose.

Burnaby is also at 60%.

Fraser Health continues to lag behind the Vancouver Coastal Health region, however, as multiple local areas within that region now have pediatric vaccination rates of 70% or higher. Leading the way are the Central Coast, at 76%; Vancouver Midtown, at 75%; and North Vancouver, at 74%.

The Island also has high rates in Greater Victoria (73%) and the Saanich Peninsula (72%). (See full list below.)

Second-dose appointments started this week for the first eligible B.C. kids, based on an eight-week interval from their first shot. 

The second-dose rollout begins against the backdrop of newly strengthened recommendations from Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Previously, NACI had said that COVID vaccine “may” be given to five-to-11-year-olds; now, in light of the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, that guidance says it “should” be given to all five-to-11-year-olds.

Number of children being hospitalized has gone up

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry highlighted the change in B.C.'s COVID-19 briefing on Jan. 25.

“What we are seeing is that five-to-11-year-olds, thankfully, remain at low risk of severe disease, but the number of children being hospitalized because of infections has gone up, as the number of infections has gone up across our communities,” Henry said.

“In addition, we have new and reassuring real-world safety data from millions and millions of young children who have been protected through vaccination."

The guidance continues to recommend an eight-week interval between doses.

“That first dose will provide tremendous protection,” Henry said. “It’s an 80% protection once your immune system has started developing those antibodies, and that will make the difference for what’s happening right now. But we want to make sure that we’re protecting children for the long run as well.”

The extended interval between doses increases cell-mediated immunity and antibodies for long-term protection in children, Henry said.

For those parents awaiting invitations to book their child's second dose, Henry offered assurance that B.C.'s Get Vaccinated system will be sending those invites.

“You will receive an invitation to book your second dose around the eight-week period," she said. "Sometimes it’s a few days before or a few days after, but our system is working really well, and you will get that invite.”

Want to get your child vaccinated?

In order to be vaccinated, five-to-11-year-olds must first be registered in B.C.'s Get Vaccinated system, after which time an invitation will be sent (by text or email) to book an appointment.

You can find all the information online at B.C.'s pediatric vaccine page, or call the central vaccination line at 1-833-838-2323.

Who's vaccinating their kids in B.C.?

Here's a look at the most-vaccinated local health areas in the province. Numbers reflect first doses for the 5-11 population as of Jan. 25. 

Central Coast: 76%

Vancouver Midtown: 75%

North Vancouver: 74%

Greater Victoria: 73%

Saanich Peninsula: 72%

Vancouver West Side: 69%

Vancouver Northeast: 67%

West Vancouver/Bowen Island: 65%

Vancouver City Centre: 65%

Western Communities: 64%

Vancouver South: 63%

Vancouver Centre North: 63%

New Westminster: 60%

Burnaby: 60%

Richmond: 60%

-With files from Julie MacLellan/New West RECORD