Covid: Beginning of Childhood Vaccination in Canada

Published on: 11/24/2021 – 9:46 PMModified on: 11/24/2021 – 21:44

Montreal (AFP) – Covid-19 vaccination for children ages 5 to 11 began on Wednesday in Canada, which followed in the footsteps of the United States and Israel by lowering the age of access to the vaccine to curb the pandemic.

At the convention center in downtown Montreal, a few dozen young Quebecers were among the first in this age group to receive the Pfizer vaccine, licensed for them since Friday.

Small arrangements have been made to accommodate the children: stickers in the shape of unicorn or hockey players have been installed on the partitions, appointments are longer than for adults, and a dog, fond of petting, circulates around the walls. corridors to relax the little ones.

“I wasn’t really scared, but I was stressed,” 10-year-old Victor told AFP, holding in his hands a coloring page with the words “Bravo, you received your vaccine.”

At his side, his mother Mathilde explains that he felt “excluded” from his family, being the only one who had not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19.

For her, vaccinating her son made sense, if only to “be together” and “be able to hug his grandparents” without fear.

“We are a privileged person, frankly,” adds Yanouchka Labrousse, a mother of two vaccinated children and a doctor. “We have been lucky enough to prevent children from getting Covid so far, so the opportunity to get vaccinated is obvious,” he told AFP.

The appointments for children in Quebec have skyrocketed since the government gave the green light to pediatric vaccination, “which is an indicator that the response of the population is really excellent,” says Jean-Nicolas Aubé, spokesman for the health authorities from Montreal.

On Twitter, Quebec Prime Minister François Legault was delighted Wednesday morning, noting that “115,300 appointments” had been made in a few hours. “Together we can make a difference!” He said.

In neighboring Ontario, a handful of children were able to get vaccinated Tuesday in Toronto, although Canada’s most populous province will officially begin its campaign on Thursday.

Canada is one of the countries with the highest vaccination rate in the world against Covid-19. More than 85% of people over the age of 12 have rolled up their sleeves at least twice.

The country approved the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine for people 18 and older on Wednesday.

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