COVID-19: B.C. kids aged 5-11 get their shot at vaccine on Day 1 of rollout

Health Minister Adrian Dix said about 104,000 children out of the eligible 350,000 are now registered.

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Vancouver mom Jenny Puterman called Monday morning and managed to get an early afternoon time on Day 1.


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Her two sons, Ari and Josh, were among the first kids, aged five- to 11-years-old, to get their COVID-19 vaccinations at the Italian Cultural Centre in East Vancouver.

Their plan was to get the shots and then get ice cream, said dad Steve Rosenzweig.

“We’re going to Dairy Queen,” said Josh, who is 11. “We have this coupon and we’re probably going to buy something with it.”

The family had registered on Oct. 9 and thought they would receive an invitation by text or email to make a booking.

These were to go out Monday, but there may be some frustrations on Day 1 for parents as other people are booking booster shots or making appointments for their first or second vaccinations, according to B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix.

Over a three-day period, B.C. is reporting 970 new cases of COVID, including two epi-linked cases, for a total of 218,068 cases in the province. There are currently 2,882 active cases of COVID in B.C., and 212,704 people who tested positive have recovered. Of the active cases, 303 individuals are currently in hospital and 115 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.


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Dix said that about 104,000 children out of the eligible 350,000 are now registered for a vaccine, and that thousands of invitations are going out this week.

“We just feel like we are trying to stay ahead of it. The sooner we can get them vaccinated the better,” said Puterman. “Their grandparents are older and we have little cousins who can’t get vaccinated (because they are younger than five years.)”

“I have another friend who is getting it today, too,” said Ari Rosenzweig, 8.

Some parents and young children in the lineup Monday were, understandably, more focused on holding emotions together through the process instead of chatting about it with Postmedia News.


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Ari and Josh, however, were talkative about getting the vaccine “to prevent COVID-19.” They had some questions about how long it would take to get the shot and if they would “have to look.”

They did several rounds of “rock, paper, scissors” to decide who would go first, and also strategized about using mom’s phone to watch Minecraft memes on YouTube as a distraction.

“We’re thrilled that they’re so agreeable and we just want to get back to normal,” said Puterman. “We have friends where the parents are double-vaccinated and they’ve still been getting breakthrough infections. So we want to have more peace of mind.”

She’s also happy that Josh got a smaller, modified dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that is the one Health Canada has approved for younger children.


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By January, he would have turned 12 and qualified to get the vaccine for youth aged 12-to-17, which involves a larger amount.

“I don’t think this guy needs a full adult dose,” she said, squeezing his slight shoulders.

After letting Josh read a short comic story about a COVID superhero who gets vaccinated, Vancouver Coastal Health volunteer Dr. Francis Lee said to the boys: “I’m going to ask you the question, ‘Is it OK if I give you the vaccine?’ ”

They nodded, along with their parents. (A parent or legal guardian has to give verbal consent ahead of a child being vaccinated.)

“How often have you been told that you are mature?” asked Dr. Lee.

“Like, never,” beamed Josh.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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