One-third of Manitoba's new COVID-19 cases are in kids under 12: Reimer
The medical lead for Manitoba Vaccine Implementation Task Force is informing the public on the number of the province’s new COVID-19 cases that are in kids under the age of 12.
“Kids under 12 make about one-third of COVID-19 cases overall,” said Dr. Joss Reimer at a news conference on Wednesday.
“And kids under 12 make up 75 per cent of cases in schools right now.”
Reimer said more and more cases are appearing in unvaccinated populations, including those under the age of 12. She noted Manitoba is not seeing many severe cases in children right now, but said there are some.
“We want parents of youth under age 12 to be ready and to feel confident to decide to immunize their child once the COVID-19 vaccine is approved and recommended by NACI and Manitoba for these young people,” Reimer said.
“In the meantime, if you have questions ask your pediatrician; ask your family doctor, your nurse practitioner, or your health-care provider.”
Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is not approved for children under the age of 12; however, this could soon change for kids aged five to 11.
At the news conference, Reimer said Health Canada is reviewing the use of the vaccine in kids in this age group, and that Pfizer formally asked Health Canada for approval last week.
She noted the province still doesn’t know exactly when the vaccine will be approved for five to 11-year-olds, but health officials believe it could come as early as the middle of November.
Reimer said she understands that people are cautious about vaccinating their kids, and parents need to think about what is best for their children.
“I think it’s really important that parents look to NACI as a source of reliable and trustworthy information, because that’s what NACI does,” she said.
“They really spend a lot of time to make careful and cautious recommendations about what’s best for Canadians.”
Reimer noted that the task force is looking into a wide range of locations where parents will be able to have their kids immunized with consent, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and community and pop-up clinics.