Parents relieved to learn COVID shots on the way for young children Health Canada approves Moderna vaccine for kids between ages of six months and five years
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This article was published 14/07/2022 (331 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — Manitoba parents might soon be able to get younger children vaccinated against COVID-19, though the province is warning that limited supplies mean those at highest risk people will get priority access.
“It’s relieving to hear,” said Winnipeg mother Nicole Couch, who was elated Thursday after learning Health Canada has approved Moderna shots for children between the ages of six months and five years old.
“I shared it with a few of my friends who have kids under five who have also been anxious.”
The past two years have had many parents of infants and preschoolers trying to avoid the highly contagious coronavirus. Some unvaccinated children have developed inflammatory diseases.
Rebecca Foat was changing a diaper on her 20-month-old son Edward when her husband told her about the news. She looked at a headline on her Apple Watch and immediately started bawling.
“I feel like I’ve been holding my breath since vaccines started to be under development,” said Foat, who got pregnant just before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
“It’s the first time I felt, like, maybe we’ll be able to get back to some form of normal for our family.”
Foat said she respects everyone’s personal choices during the pandemic, but has found it alienating to hear people say the pandemic is over, especially when politicians and doctors rarely mention parents of unvaccinated toddlers.
“We feel like we’ve been forgotten about, as parents of young children,” she said.
“It’s a big sigh of relief to know we’re going to have that added level of protection. It’s part of keeping our entire community safe.”
“We feel like we’ve been forgotten about, as parents of young children.” – Rebecca Foat
Similarly, Couch can barely wait to get her four-year-old son Cameron immunized.
“It has been challenging, and we really limited what we did with him, especially in the first year-and-a-half of the pandemic,” she said.
With older relatives and a husband with asthma, Couch tried to limit playdates to outdoor activities at playgrounds and pools. They originally kept Cameron out of supermarkets, and now have him wearing a mask at the grocery store, even though many other people don’t.
Her son was sick three different times in June, a common occurrence among children attending daycares and preschool.
“Whatever protection we can do to prevent spread at daycares is great,” she said.
The Manitoba government says it’s waiting for Ottawa to detail when the province will get shots in the right formula; the new age group requires a dose that is one-quarter the size of the one adults get.
“We anticipate the vaccine will be available to this age group at locations/clinics that currently provide COVID-19 vaccines,” a spokeswoman wrote.
“A significant amount of work is already underway to plan for vaccine distribution, to train immunizers to provide the vaccine, to update information online and to make adjustments to the appointment booking centre.”
That will also involve updates to the online vaccine finder, though Manitoba Health warns that initial supplies might be needed just for priority groups, and will follow federal advisories.
“The provincial recommendations will set out who should get access to the vaccine first, given there are limited supplies expected in the next few weeks,” the department wrote.
“The provincial recommendations will set out who should get access to the vaccine first, given there are limited supplies expected in the next few weeks.” – Manitoba Health
Ironically, the Couch family caught COVID-19 just two weeks ago, right after a trip they took to Nova Scotia as case rates seemed to be on a steady decline.
Because of advice to wait until three months after an infection, the family will likely hold off until late September for the boy’s shot, but that doesn’t mean they’re less enthusiastic.
“I’m still counting down the days until I can get him vaccinated,” Couch said.
She hopes other Manitoba families share the same enthusiasm.
“You’re getting kid vaccinated for every other disease out there; I don’t know why you would hesitate to get the COVID vaccines, especially after we’ve seen so many adults and older children get it with minor or no issues,” she said.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer for me.”