Alberta kids to get access to more COVID vaccine options

Alberta dad and mom trying to get their youngsters further safety within the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can have extra choices beginning Thursday.

In a social media thread Wednesday, chief medical officer of well being Dr. Mark Joffe introduced the Pfizer bivalent mRNA vaccine booster – efficient in opposition to the wild sort and BA.4/BA.5 subvariants – will likely be obtainable for youngsters aged 5 to 11. The Novavax protein-based vaccine will likely be obtainable for a main collection or as a booster for youth aged 12 to 17.

Each pictures will likely be obtainable at AHS public well being clinics by calling Well being Hyperlink at 811 or online. Attributable to restricted portions of Novavax, the protein-based pediatric vaccination will likely be obtainable at choose AHS clinics and never at pharmacies or neighborhood medical clinics.

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Dr. Sam Wong, president of the Alberta Medical Affiliation’s pediatrics part, stated the Pfizer bivalent doses have been notably efficient, however he wasn’t well-read on the Novavax outcomes.

“The Pfizer bivalent numbers look good, even with the brand new variants which can be popping out,” Wong stated. “It’s inferior to it was in opposition to the wild sort (of COVID-19), however definitely it’s nonetheless higher than not having it.”

The distribution of the Pfizer bivalent doses comes practically a month after Health Canada approved the bivalent booster for teenagers aged 5 to 11 years previous on Dec. 9, 2022.

On Dec. 7, 2022, Novavax announced it received federal approval to be used in adolescents after it was additionally accredited to be used in the US, the UK and the European Union.

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The COVID vaccination price for Alberta youngsters stays in the back of the pack nationwide.

In keeping with the most recent federal figures, solely 36.3 per cent of Albertans aged 5 to 11 and solely 78.4 per cent of youngsters 12 to 17 have acquired a main collection of two doses. Nationally, these figures are 41.3 and 80.4 per cent, respectively.

Booster doses in Alberta have had even much less uptake. Of youngsters aged 5 to 11, 4.3 per cent have had a 3rd dose, together with 15.8 per cent of youngsters aged 12 to 17. Canada-wide, these numbers rise to six.2 per cent and 18.4 per cent respectively.

Specialists say vaccination in opposition to COVID-19 is only in stopping extreme illness and hospitalization, along with serving to scale back transmission of the virus.

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Wong stated hospitals have been put underneath extraordinary stress in late 2022 and plenty of health-care staff are burned out after years of being referred to as in for time beyond regulation.

“We’re hoping that folks will take easy public well being measures like masking in public or in the event that they’re sick, to not exit. In the event that they should exit to masks, (and) try to lower the variety of social interactions if potential,” the pediatrician stated.

“We need to try to be sure that the system is there for individuals who do get sick, for his or her youngsters who do get sick, and that we are able to present high quality well being care to these youngsters.”

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