B.C. welcoming COVID-19 vaccine registrations from 5-to-11-year-olds ahead of expected Health Canada approval

None of the COVID-19 vaccines available in B.C. have yet been approved for children under age 12, but the province is still welcoming children in that age group to register to get their first dose.

In fact, according to the Ministry of Health, children ages five to 11 have been able to register for COVID-19 immunization "all along," since B.C. first debuted its online system for mass vaccination booking.

"Registering your child is a great step right now as we await approvals from Health Canada," the ministry said in a statement to CTV News Vancouver on Saturday.

"Throughout the pandemic, B.C.’s approach to vaccination booking is that we provide notification to people when it’s their turn to book. You are scheduled based on when it’s your turn, not when you register."

Now that Pfizer has submitted an application to Health Canada for approval of its vaccine for use in children ages five to 11, B.C. is preparing to distribute the shots

"Public health is carefully monitoring the Health Canada review of COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11, and will make decisions for B.C. based on science," the ministry said. "We will have more to say as the review proceeds."

The preparations come as B.C. experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases among school-aged children, prompting the province to expand its in-school mask mandate to include children in kindergarten through Grade 3. 

B.C. has stopped short of mandating COVID-19 vaccination for teachers and school staff, however, maintaining that such mandates are the responsibility of individual school districts

Those interested in registering their children for a COVID-19 vaccine can do so on the provincial government's website.