Canada Markets open in 1 hr 25 mins

Health P.E.I. says child vaccine rollout is going smoothly

·2 min read
1,350 pediatric vaccine appointments have been booked on P.E.I. this week. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press - image credit)
1,350 pediatric vaccine appointments have been booked on P.E.I. this week. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Health officials say P.E.I.'s COVID-19 child vaccination campaign is going off without a hitch.

Marion Dowling, chief nursing and professional practice officer at Health P.E.I., told CBC News: Compass that none of the community clinics currently offering the pediatric vaccine have run into any issues so far.

"The kids are excited although sometimes a little anxious as well to be at the clinic, but feeling quite proud to have their vaccine," she said.

The province said on Tuesday that 523 children aged 5 to 12 have received their first COVID-19 shot since the clinics began Friday, with 1,350 appointments booked for this week.

Clinics are scheduled for Montague, Souris, O'Leary, Charlottetown and Summerside.

Dowling encouraged parents to book an appointment for their children. But she said they may want to wait a bit if their child recently got their flu shot.

"We know many families have gone and got their annual flu shot as well this fall," she said. "There does need to be 14 days between another vaccine and the children receiving this dose. So just for parents to bear that in mind when they're booking these appointments."

Dowling said she understands that some parents still have reservations about giving the vaccine to their children, and encouraged them to get more information about it on the P.E.I. website.

"I'd encourage them to have the conversation with their children about the vaccine and the benefits and what the potential risks might be for their own situation," she said.

Dowling said no severe reactions to the vaccine have been reported, and that mild symptoms such as sore arms and fatigue go away in a day or two.

"It's important to recognize the fears people have about something new and immunizations in general," she said. "But many children on P.E.I. receive a whole suite of immunization throughout their childhood and do really well, and we have no indication that this should be any different."

Dowling said that the government plans to take advantage of the Christmas break to offer community clinics when parents and children can both be off.

Health P.E.I. is also looking to offer vaccines in schools starting in January.

Approximately 13,000 children are in the 5-11 age group in the province.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting