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Children under 12 could receive COVID-19 vaccine by the new year: Dix

Vaccination rates across BC continue to climb steadily.

As of yesterday (Wednesday), 84.5% of eligible people 12 and over received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 76.7% are fully inoculated.

However, when we will see children under 12 get vaccinated?

In an interview with Vista Radio, Health Minister Adrian Dix explained when this might happen.

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“I would expect though that it would be licensed to give COVID-19 vaccines to those under twelve until later this year at the earliest or perhaps early in the 2022 calendar year.”

In addition, 85.1% of eligible adults in our province got their first jab while and 77.7% have both doses.

Dix mentioned BC is still faring better than many other countries as it deals with the pandemic’s fourth wave.

This comes after the province recorded 785 new infections yesterday (Wednesday) with 94 in Northern Health.

“To put it in context, we are at about twelve cases per 100,000 on a daily basis in BC while in the United Kingdom it is about 50, which is not where we want to be.”

According to the province, between July 30 to August 26, fully vaccinated individuals accounted for 15% of cases and 13% of hospitalizations in the province.

Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned that 70% of our cases are in less than 25% of the population that is not immunized during a media briefing this week.

Dix stated the Vaccine Card system, which is expected to be in place until at least January 31st of 2022, is a way to keep our social activities and the economy moving along at a somewhat healthy pace.

“Unlike March where we decided to go to all take-out for restaurants for everybody, we are now focused on where the transmission is and that is why we have taken this step.”

“It focuses on where we see the bulk of the transmission, which is amongst unvaccinated people. They now represent a fairly small part of the population and that is where the bulk of our transmission is.”

Since the vaccination card was introduced, Dix mentioned there has been significant uptake in vaccination registrations and bookings in Northern and Interior Health.

Dix estimates around 700-thousand British Columbians remain unvaccinated.

When asked if there is any chance the Vaccination Card system could be lifted prior to the new year if BC meets a certain vaccination threshold – Dix was hesitant to put a timeline on it due to the Delta Variant and upcoming flu season.

“Hopefully, we won’t have seen during respiratory illness season a big push of COVID-19 and other respiratory illness so hopefully that will be the case.”

The crude hospitalization rate, meaning the rate considered without taking age into account, among the unvaccinated population is 17 times higher than among the fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the crude case rate among the unvaccinated is about 10 times higher than among the fully vaccinated population.

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