Ottawa parents eager to book COVID-19 vaccination appointment for children
OTTAWA -- Children five to 11 years-old will move one step closer to being vaccinated against COVID-19 on Sunday, when the first doses of vaccine arrive in Canada.
The shipment comes just days after Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children.
"They’ve been waiting and waiting, so they’re excited," said Katherine Comber, whose 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I felt like once I get it I will be a lot safer," added her daughter.
However, Comber said at first they were nervous about the risks.
"We had a family member have the myocardia issue in the 30 category," she said. "It was scary so we had a talk with our doctor."
Those conversations about hesitancy and safety is something medical experts are preparing to have with their patients as doses begin to go into younger arms.
"Everyone just wants to do what’s best for their kid, I think for those who have questions it’s a perfect time to sit down with your health care provider," said Dr. Isaac Bogoch.
The infectious disease specialist agrees with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recent statement that children and their parents should be supported and respected in their decision around COVID-19 vaccinations for their child.
"No one is here to blame or shame anyone. I think it's fair to take these questions seriously and approach it in an empathetic manner," said Bogoch.
On Friday, the federal government said national mobility restrictions like vaccination requirements for air travel would not affect children the same way they do adults.
Some parents are already eager to book an appointment.
"The virus could do much more damage to him," said Ally Stoll, whose son turns five in December. "I’d rather him be protected."
"This is just one step forward and something we can do above and beyond of wearing masks," said another parent.
Meantime, Comber says after speaking with their family doctor, they decided to go ahead as soon as appointments are available.
“Both kids are in school," she said. "We want to make sure they're protected."
Ottawa Public Health aims to administer a first dose to 77,000 children in the region within four weeks of the vaccination roll out.
The provincial booking system is expected to open appointments early next week.