Vaccines for kids? B.C.'s top doctor says immunizing adults also protects children

As British Columbia’s COVID-19 restrictions lift throughout the summer, many are already looking ahead to the fall when kids go back to school.

However, at this point children under the age of 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated in Canada. B.C.’s top doctor says there are a number of promising studies underway and it's possible that both Pfizer and Moderna could be available to younger kids by the end of the calendar year.

"There's also some really good data that shows that for every 20 per cent increase in immunization in adults 18 and above, even if you don't immunized children, they are protected,” said Henry in her daily COVID-19 briefing Thursday.

Pfizer is currently the only vaccine approved for kids between the ages of 12 and 18.

Moderna has submitted data to Health Canada with the hope of getting approval as well.

Both Pfizer and Moderna are doing so-called "bridging studies" for children as young as six months old.

Data from early studies has shown younger people may not require a full dose of vaccine.

People under the age of 12 make up about 11 per cent of B.C.’s population and because of that Henry is confident the province can maintain low rates of transmission, even without immunizing children.

"I think globally, it's imperative for us to protect healthcare workers and adults in many other countries. That's going to protect us all as a global community, and then look to how do we protect children individually as vaccine becomes available later in the year, “ she said.