On November 19, 2021, the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved by Health Canada for children aged five to 11 years old. Dr. Zaneta Lim, a Terrace-based pediatrician, offered to support the local Northern Health interprofessional team when it became available in BC.
Dr. Lim is passionate about the need for children to be vaccinated, and she wants to demonstrate that, not only by booking an appointment for her own five-year-old to be vaccinated, but also by joining her fellow health care providers in vaccinating this age group.
Below, Dr. Lim shares four reasons why she feels so strongly about the need to vaccinate children for COVID-19:
1. For their own health and safety
“Children have been hospitalized and have died from COVID-19,” she says. “Children can develop a life-threatening condition after infection with COVID-19 called multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), which affects multiple parts of the body and may have long-term effects on a child’s health.”
2. For the health and safety of their loved ones
Dr. Lim notes that we still don’t have a vaccine for children younger than five years old. “We know that COVID-19 can be life-threatening for people who are older or have serious medical conditions,” she says, “even if they’re fully vaccinated. Vaccinating five- to 11-year-olds will go a long way to protect our at-risk loved ones.”
3. To support the ability of children to attend school in person
“This pandemic has proven that going to school is vital for our children,” says Dr. Lim, “not only for their education, but also for their social development. Vaccinations help to protect the most vulnerable children in our community.”
4. To take an important step closer to our “normal”
“In the future, we’ll reach herd immunity for COVID-19 just as we’ve done with the annual flu,” she says. “Herd immunity will allow us to gather in large groups to celebrate and to mourn, to share the warmth of a smile without a mask, and to embrace loved ones and strangers without a second thought. I wholeheartedly believe that by vaccinating our school-aged children, we’ll be one step closer to reclaiming the most important parts of our lives that we so dearly miss.”