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B.C. parents can take eligible kids with them to get COVID-vaccinated

Last Updated May 20, 2021 at 7:06 pm PDT

Summary

Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. kids aged 12 to 17 don't need parental permission to get a COVID-19 vaccine dose

Existing clinics will be ramped up to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for kids aged 12 to 17

Henry says it takes a lot of resources to coordinate vaccination clinics at schools

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C. kids 12 and up can book appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations or tag along with parents to receive a dose. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry shared that news Thursday, a day after the B.C. opened registration to those aged 12 to 17.

Henry says they are working to make it as easy as possible for youth to get their first doses, and parental permission isn’t required.

“You can make an appointment yourself, if you are a young person in this category. If a parent or guardian has an appointment booked already, you can bring the youth [aged] 12 – 17 with you to that appointment,” she said.

The BC Teachers’ Federation wanted clinics set up at schools.

“Schools regularly coordinate parental consent forms, schools have gyms and cafeterias that could be used, and, most importantly, the students are already there,” said BCTF President Teri Mooring. “Nobody has to take time off school or work and make the trip to a community clinic if we bring the vaccines to them.”

But Henry says it’s more practical to use existing clinics.

“It takes a lot of resources to go into every single school in a very short period of time, and that would not have been able to be done equitably … especially some of our larger health authorities, where our clinics are established and ready to ramp up to have families come,” Henry said.

Even with 300,000 youth added to the vaccine line-up in B.C., Henry says second doses are now slated to be administered for everyone 13 weeks after their first dose, instead of 16 weeks.

A total of 2,687,360 vaccine doses have been administered so far in the province, 138,906 of which are second doses.

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On Thursday, B.C. recorded 357 new COVID-19 cases, which is the lowest figure since mid-February. Three more people died.

Premier John Horgan urged everyone to heed public health orders, which expire at 12 a.m. Tuesday.

He said if British Columbians stay on track, we “can expect on Tuesday that the circuit breaker will be over.”

However, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has emphasized that restrictions will be lifted “slowly, but surely.”

“Nothing is going to be back to 100 per cent on Tuesday. It’s not going to be a light switch. It’s going to be a dimmer switch,” she said.