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B.C. kids 12-17 can now register for COVID vaccine as Canada nears milestone

Last Updated May 20, 2021 at 6:38 am PDT

FILE - COVID-19 vaccines (Courtesy Twitter/Fraser Health)

B.C.'s top doctor expected to provide more details Thursday on vaccine rollout for kids aged 12-17

British Columbians are being encouraged to register for COVID-19 vaccines

By end of Thursday, nearly 50 per cent of Canadians will have received at least one dose of vaccine

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Children as young as 12 in B.C. are one step closer to getting vaccinated against COVID-19, with registration officially open across the province.

More details on when kids in the 12-17 age group can actually book a vaccine appointment are expected Thursday.

“This is exciting news for a lot of families, news that people have been waiting for for a long time,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said Wednesday.

“It allows, in many cases, families to go together and get vaccinated, which is also exciting news,” Dix added, noting the registration system was tested again Tuesday.

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“Just like every other group in British Columbia, I’m encouraging everyone to get registered on our Get Vaccinated website, or by telephone across British Columbia.”

When asked why children 12-17 won’t be vaccinated at schools, Dix said there’s already an “extraordinary system of clinics” in place across B.C. He noted some areas will have different plans for vaccine distribution, depending on their own individual needs.

Dix and B.C.’s top doctor, Dr. Bonnie Henry, will be joined by Premier John Horgan to provide the update, just ahead of the long weekend.

Canada nears milestone

As B.C.’s age-based program continues to expand rapidly, Canada is nearing its own milestone on the vaccine front. By the end of Thursday, close to half of eligible Canadians — 49 per cent — will have received at least a first dose of the vaccine.

At 49 per cent, Canada surpasses the U.S., which has seen just over 48 per cent of adults receive one dose. But Canada remains far behind in the double-dose race, with less than four per cent of Canadians fully vaccinated compared to 38 per cent in the States.

The country continues to receive vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna, with the prime minister announcing earlier this week that Canada was set to receive its largest weekly shipment of vaccines to date.

“This week, we’re receiving 4.5 million vaccine doses, including a shipment from Pfizer that has been moved up ahead of the holiday weekend,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

He also said we could look forward to getting back to some semblance of normalcy once at least 75 per cent of people across the country have had one dose, and 20 per cent have had a second.

“This fall, once three quarters of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, we’ll be able to do more of the indoor things we miss,” he said, touting the “one-dose summer,” “two-dose fall” concept.