Following Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna vaccine, and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) recommendations, appointments can be made for COVID-19 vaccination for those aged six months to four years.
The COVID-19 vaccine for the six-month to four-year-olds will be available at child-friendly clinics in communities. Register children in the provincial Get Vaccinated system now by going online or calling 1-833-838-2323 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, translators are available).
Once registration is complete, parents or guardians will be invited to book a vaccination at a clinic in their community when the immunization program starts in August. For children who are not yet six months of age, parents or guardians should still register their child and can expect an invitation once the child reaches six months of age.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that two doses with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be offered with eight weeks between doses. This Moderna vaccine is a smaller dose of the Moderna vaccine used for older children.
“Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19,” says Dr. Laura Sauvé, a BC Children’s Hospital Infectious Disease Pediatrician, who has been caring for children with complex infections for 16 years.
She led the group that created the COVID-19 pediatric treatment guidelines in B.C., and has read extensive amounts of data about children, COVID-19 and vaccines.
“Evidence indicates that the vaccines used in Canada are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Based on Health Canada's review of the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine, Health Canada determined the benefits of the vaccine in this age group outweigh any risks,” says Dr. Sauvé.
“Severe outcomes of COVID-19 in young children are unusual, but they do happen,” says Dr. Sauvé. “There's increased risk from some underlying medical conditions, but some children who were otherwise previously healthy have also had severe COVID-19.”
Children can become very sick with this more generalized inflammatory condition, which requires therapy to suppress the immune system. Having your child or youth vaccinated means they are less likely to get severe COVID-19 or its complications.
Even if your young child already had COVID-19 and recovered, they should still get vaccinated. Not everyone develops a strong immune response after having COVID-19.
All COVID-19 vaccines for adults and children follow the same review and approval process in Canada.
The Moderna clinical trial showed that the vaccine was well tolerated and no serious adverse reactions were identified. There were no deaths, no cases of MIS-C, and no cases of myocarditis and/or pericarditis reported among the nearly 5,000 trial participants. As usual, surveillance for adverse events will continue even after the vaccine has been licensed.
The trial also showed that the immune response to the vaccine in children six months to five years of age was comparable to that seen in people 18 to 25 years of age. Efficacy was assessed when Omicron was the predominant variant of COVID-19 circulating in the U.S. and Canada so it is effective for that strain.
The ingredients of the Moderna vaccine have been researched for more than 20 years. COVID-19 vaccination has no impact on future fertility. There is no biological way for this to occur.
For more information, including third dose criteria for young children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, please see the BC Government web page on children and COVID-19.
For information about COVID-19 vaccination for other age groups, visit the BC Government website.
Read how to find trusted information about vaccines on the BCCDC website.