On behalf of my constituents, I wrote a letter to the Minister of Health regarding vaccine eligibility for children who were born in 2017.
As the rapid spread of Omicron continues in our community and across the province, parents need to have clarity on what tools are available to protect their little ones and themselves. I hope this letter spurs the Ministry to provide a clear and concise answer to parents seeking information on this matter. (Read the letter here - full text below):
Hon. Christine Elliott
Minister of Health and Deputy Premier
Dr. Kieran Moore
Chief Medical Officer of Health
January 11, 2022
Minister Elliott and Dr. Moore,
I write today on behalf of parents in my constituency whose children were born in 2017, making them just under the minimum age to receive the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.
The rapidly spreading Omicron variant, along with the province’s highest ever case counts have parents very worried about their youngest children who are just under the cut-off for the vaccine. Recent reported cases of severe infection and even death among children have only heightened those fears.
Can you please respond to the following questions:
• Is the government currently considering expanding eligibility for four-year-olds who are nearing age 5? What about those who are in school-based environments?
• What is the status of clinical trials for this age group?
• Is the government in active conversations with the National Advisory Council on Immunization regarding guidance for this age group?
I also want to share my disappointment on behalf of constituents who booked appointments in the provincial booking system for an under-5 child, only to be turned away when they arrived at the
appointment. At this pivotal point in the fight against COVID-19, families need clear advice, information and guidance in order to protect themselves and their children.
As vaccination rates among children 5-11 seem to be lagging dangerously behind, I urge you to proactively engage with parents of children of all ages about vaccination with a robust, culturally relevant outreach and education plan and to expand in-school and low-barrier clinics for parents.
Thank you and I look forward to your response.
Marit Stiles, MPP