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COVID-19 vaccines on the way for Alberta kids

Last Updated Nov 23, 2021 at 10:48 am MST

After two years of uncertainty in schools across Alberta, teachers and parents are hoping things might start getting back to normal.

The first batch of 2.9 million pediatric Pfizer vaccines have arrived in Canada, but questions around the administration of the shots and COVID policies still remain.

Karina Ritchie feels both excitement and apprehension with a vaccine now available for her seven-year-old.

It’s a decision no parent is making lightly.

“Your child doesn’t have autonomy, so you are basically making the decision for your kid,” said Ritchie.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved by Health Canada, after trials in the U.S. showed a 91 per cent effectiveness against the virus.

RELATED: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children approved in Canada

Details on the provincial rollout are expected Tuesday.

“Hopefully, we do have high uptake on this vaccine and we move much closer to a herd immunity,” said Jonathan Teghtmeyer, a spokesperson for the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA).

The ATA believes schools could play a vital role in providing information about the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine to students and parents — but most likely will not play host to immunization clinics.

“In-school clinics for children aged 12 to 18 found very little uptake, there were only a few thousand doses administered across the province,” explained Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. “There were far more that were cancelled.”

RELATED: Alberta premier defends plan to not make vaccines mandatory in schools

Vaccines for children will exclusively be offered at AHS clinics with extended hours.

Kenney has also said there is no plan to include children in the Restrictions Exemption Program.

A press conference featuring Premier Kenney, Health Minister Jason Copping and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw will be held on Tuesday afternoon, where plans to vaccinate children are expected to be discussed.

It will begin at 3:30 p.m.