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Alberta Restriction Exemption Program will not be changed to include children, says Kenney

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Regardless of whether they are vaccinated, children aged five to 11 will not be subject to the Alberta Restriction Exemption Program, Prime Minister Jason Kenney announced on Tuesday.

“We want parents to take the time they need to assess their situation, review the data and make the best choice for their children and family,” Kenney told a news conference.

“We do not want people to feel rushed or pressured,” he said. “The pandemic has been a time of trial for every Albertan, and younger children and their parents are certainly no exception.”

The vaccine passport did not apply to children under 12 when it was introduced in early September and this will not change, although pediatric vaccines for COVID-19 have arrived in Alberta and parents can start booking appointments starting in the morning. Wednesday.

The kids have already sacrificed a lot to help keep others safe, Kenney said.

“Ultimately, we thought it would be unfair to younger children to exclude them, to further stigmatize them, especially given their low risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.

391,000 children in Alberta now qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine

Prime Minister Jason Kenney says children ages five to 11 will not be subject to the exemption program. 2:09

Kenney said getting 391,000 children qualified for vaccines means that almost 94 percent of the province’s population can be vaccinated.

The first pediatric vaccinations will take place on Friday, as the province will distribute them to about 120 countries, mostly to Alberta Health Services clinics and pharmacies across the province.

Appointments must be booked through the Alberta Vaccine Booking System atalberta.ca/vaccineor by calling Health Link at 811. Walks are not offered.

Vaccines will not be made available in schools, said Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping.

“As you may know, we actually ran children’s clinics in high schools and high schools and that was not so successful,” Copping said. “Given the scale of the program, we will use what has been proven and true, which are the high-capacity AHS clinics, which has been successful to date.”

‘Normal life’

The pending launch of pediatric vaccines is a great relief for Preet Bhandal, a mother of three in Edmonton.

Her 13-year-old son is already vaccinated, but her two young daughters aged nine and 11 are awaiting their vaccination.

“We can return to normal life,” said Bhandal, who has already pre-registered her daughters and is checking for updates. “We wanted to go on vacation somewhere just to relieve all that stress.”

Vaccines will also make her feel better about sending her children to school, she said.

Bhandal’s son tested positive for COVID-19 in October 2020. No one else in the family fell ill, but his entire class had to be quarantined.

“I know what it’s like to be that parent whose child gets it and everyone else has to stay home. No one wants to feel that way,” she said.

“So now, at least from a defense standpoint, everyone who participates and gets it can have some kind of peace of mind.”

Canada’s first doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children arrived in Hamilton, Ont., On Sunday, just days after Health Canada approved it. The federal government and the pharmaceutical giant have agreed on an accelerated distribution of more than 2.9 million doses.

The pediatric version of the vaccine uses a dose one-third the size of those given to people 12 years of age and older. There are other changes to the vaccine, including one that allows it to stay at normal cooling temperatures for longer.

Health Canada authorized a two-dose regimen to be administered at a three-week interval.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), however, recommends that the interval between doses be increased to at least eight weeks, as evidence is growing that a longer interval generates a stronger immune response.

The pediatric formulation is a dose of 10 micrograms (mcg), instead of the 30 mcg dose given to people 12 years of age and older.

A great historical moment

Vaccination of children is an important milestone in Canada’s fight against COVID-19, said Dr. Iris Gorfinkel, a family physician and vaccine researcher in Toronto.

“We cannot stop the spread of COVID-19 unless we get 90 percent of Canada’s population fully vaccinated,” she said.

“About 12 percent of Canada’s population is under the age of 12, so this is an extraordinary milestone that will lead us forward in achieving that herd immunity.”

By mid-November, 75 percent of Canadians were fully vaccinated, according to federal government data.

While children are less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19, Gorfinkel said there have been some rare but disturbing cases of hospitalization and severe outcomes among juveniles. The possibility of long-term COVID is another risk for pediatric patients, she said.

Gorfinkel said pediatric vaccine trials saw results similar to adult trials, with vaccines that turned out to be nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages five to 11 years old.

“This has accurate accuracy,” she said.

The Cases of Alberta

Hinshaw reported that 10 other Albertans died from COVID-19, including a child under the age of two.

“While I would note that this child had complex pre-existing medical conditions that played an important role, it does not reduce the tragic loss of a young person,” Hinshaw said.

There have been a total of 3,227 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, cases from COVID-19 continue to fall in Alberta. With 253 new cases reported on Tuesday, the province now has 5,001 active cases.

Here is how active cases in the health regions of the province are dissolved.

Active cases

  • Calgary Area: 1800
  • Edmonton Area: 1,087
  • Northern Zone: 937
  • Central area: 744
  • South area: 424
  • Unknown: 9

Hospitals have 475 patients with COVID-19, including 94 in the ICU.

About three-quarters of those in the hospital are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. About 70.7 percent of Alberta’s total population is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

New QR code for travelers

The province also announced that the Alberta vaccine record will be updated to meet the recommended Canadian standard for domestic and international travel.

The updated registration, which includes middle names and is in both official languages, will be available on Wednesday atalberta.ca/CovidRecords.

Only travelers intending to travel should maintain or republish the updated version of the QR code vaccine record.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/covid-19-alberta-vaccine-edmonton-hinshaw-1.6259313

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