Children under five years old will be able to get Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday through Alberta Health Services.
The shot was approved by Health Canada in September for children aged six months to four years. The dose for children in this age group is 3 mcg, rather than the 10 mcg administered to children aged five to 11.
“As with all vaccines for this age group, they will be administered by AHS,” Alberta Health said in a statement.
The Moderna vaccine has been available to children aged six months to four years in Alberta since the beginning of August.
Since then, just over 1,000 children aged six to 11 months have received a first dose, which is four per cent of the population that age. Nearly 15,000 children aged one to four years old have gotten their first shot, making up 6.9 per cent of that age group in Alberta.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines cannot be offered as a mixed series for children in this age group, according to the Alberta Health website.
The percentage of children vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine jumps to 51.5 per cent for those aged five to 11.
As of Thursday, none of the 1,319 doses administered to children aged six months to 11 months experienced adverse events following immunization (AEFI), while seven of 19,658 doses given to children aged one to four years old had an AEFI.
For children aged six months to four years old without eligible immunocompromising conditions, the Pfizer vaccine is a three-dose primary series with a minimum of eight weeks between doses. Those with immunocompromising conditions are advised to get four doses, with at least 28 days between the first and second, and eight weeks between the others.
Alberta Health said parents and guardians can book an appointment for their children through bookvaccine.alberta.ca or by calling 811. Parents or guardians of children who live in First Nations communities can call their health centre to book an appointment.
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With all those over the age of six months eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, 82.3 per cent of Alberta’s population has received at least one dose, 77.9 per cent have gotten two and 40.2 per cent has received three.
As of Wednesday, there are 1,090 COVID-19 cases in hospital, including 36 requiring intensive care. A total of 5,093 Albertans have died from COVID-19.
Of those in hospital, 335 are in the Calgary zone, including 12 of the patients in ICUs.
Over the past week, Alberta reported another 1,408 cases of COVID-19 from 9,289 completed lab tests.