Children 12 and Older Eligible for Vaccine

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If all goes as planned, children 12 and older in Saskatchewan will become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting next week. Some parents are wondering how to ensure their child gets the shot.

On Tuesday, May 18, teenagers aged 16 and over will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Kids 12 and older will most likely become eligible Thursday, May 20. In total, about 91,000 youth between the ages of 12 and 17 will become eligible for the vaccine next week.

Last week Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in adolescents 12 and older. Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO Scott Livingstone held a news conference. He said the province is working on a plan to vaccinate children 12 and older in schools starting in June. He also mentioned that families could choose to vaccinate their children before the school-based rollout.

“So we will be seeing some kids trickle into our other immunization programs. Either drive-thrus or booked clinics or pharmacies, which is fully acceptable,” Livingstone said.

The Regina Catholic School Division and Regina Public Schools have stated that they collaborate with the SHA to create a school-based vaccine program. But they noted it is too early to share specifics.
Michelle Grodecki, a teacher who has twin 12-year-old boys and an eight-year-old son, said she prefers vaccination at schools. “Every year, we go for our flu shot, and it’s always like this huge production. So to sit in the drive-thru for six hours, I don’t know that that’s going to be the best use of our time or best for his mental health,” she said.

Brock Lumbard, a Regina-based Western University software engineering student, recently developed an app. It allows users to text their postal code and get information about the closest vaccine supply. The service is free.