HKPR to hold online vaccine information session for parents

·2 min read

KAWARTHA LAKES: Health Canada has now approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on children aged five to 11, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) is looking to provide parents with assurances the vaccine is safe.

“To help answer questions parents may still have about vaccinating their child, the HKPR District Health Unit is teaming up with local primary care providers to offer a virtual panel discussion entitled ‘Fast Facts on COVID-19 Vacs for Kids’,” read an HKPR press release, sent out on Monday, November 22nd.

Taking part in the panel discussion is Kawartha Lakes Family Physician Dr. Sheila Mae Young, HKPR Medical Officer of Health Dr. Natalie Bocking, Northumberland Family Health Team physician Dr. Emma Smith and HKPR Public Health Nurse Brooke Mountney.

The virtual event will take place on Thursday, December 2nd, from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. The Health Unit will be live streaming the event on YouTube.

“We know some parents are questioning the need and the safety of the vaccine, and this information session is the perfect opportunity to talk about those concerns and help clear up some of the misinformation and fear [which] may be circulating,” Dr. Bocking said, in a statement. “While children are less likely to get really sick from COVID-19, there are still many reasons why they need the protection offered by the vaccine.”

During a virtual press conference on Wednesday, November 17th, Dr. Bocking addressed a question regarding the supply of the vaccine.

“We are not anticipating any issues around [the] supply of the vaccine for the five to 11 age group,” she said. “The Pfizer vaccine for five to 11 year-olds is a smaller dose, and it’s actually in a different vial of vaccine, a slightly different formulation.”

Right now, the health unit doesn’t have any plans to use schools for vaccine clinics, but Dr. Bocking pointed out things can change.

“We’re certainly having lots of discussion about the best place to host clinics for five to 11 year-olds. All of this really is a balance of the resources we have, needing to meet the needs of the highest number of [children] as possible, and then other space limitations. We’re continuing to discuss with school boards,” she explained. “At this time, we don’t have any school clinics scheduled. But we’ll continue to reassess on an ongoing basis.”

In the press release, the health unit explains this information session is “designed to provide information about the vaccine, how to prepare children for vaccination, potential side effects of the vaccine, and the ways to book a vaccination appointment.”

To submit a question for the panellists, go online to www.hkpr.on.ca.

Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper

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