Ample supply of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine expected for kids, Windsor-Essex health unit says
Unit anticipates appointments will be available to book early next week
The Windsor-Essex Health Unit is assuring the public that it is expecting ample supply of vaccines for kids, and that the capacity of the vaccination system is sufficient to meet the needs of the community as soon as the shipment is received.
On Friday Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children five to 11 years of age.
"Between the mass vaccination clinic at Devonshire Mall, our health-care providers, pharmacies, and mobile outreach opportunities, we expect that we will be able to see all newly eligible young people in a timely manner," WECHU's CEO Nicole Dupuis said in a statement Friday afternoon.
"We anticipate appointments will be available to book on our website early next week and more information will be shared at that time. Parents should note that children cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine within 14 days of any other vaccination and should book accordingly."
Following the federal announcement, the government of Ontario issued a statement indicating that it is currently working with the federal government on vaccine distribution logistics and that Ontario will be ready to vaccinate children aged five to 11 when supply arrives.
WECHU is encouraging parents and/or guardians of newly eligible children and youth to review the unit's website for facts and information and/or consult with their child's health-care provider if they have questions.
Family doctor 'happy' vaccine is approved for kids
Meanwhile, a Windsor family doctor has welcomed Health Canada's approval of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children.
Dr. Magbule Doko — who is also the mother of three kids — said she and her children are delighted.
"I'm happy," Doko told CBC Windsor. "My kids are happy that the vaccine is coming. Not happy to be poked though, but happy to know that they're also going to be protected."
Pfizer-BioNTech's pediatric vaccine is delivered in doses one-third the size of those given to adults and kids 12 and older. Health Canada authorized a two-dose regimen to be administered three weeks apart.
Doko said the last 20 months have been difficult for children because of the pandemic.
"Sometimes we think the kids are doing OK, that the adults are suffering more … the isolation, the online schooling [affects them]," she said.
Doko said the decision for children to take or not take the vaccine is one that every family has to make together, but she believes children who can take the vaccine should be allowed to.
"There are some young children that are not too well after they get COVID. So, I would advise the parents to think about … and make a decision. I think the benefits greatly outweigh the risks of this vaccine," Doko said.
Meanwhile, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said the local vaccination strategy for kids five to 11 will build upon the many distribution channels already in place including the mass vaccination clinic at Devonshire Mall, health-care providers, pharmacies, and mobile clinic opportunities.
- An earlier version of this story said Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children on Monday. In fact, the decision was announced Friday.Nov 22, 2021 7:50 AM ET
With files from Jennifer La Grassa and Myriam Eddahia