Fraser Health said the health authority will now focus immunizations on children. (Maple Ridge News file)

Fraser Health said the health authority will now focus immunizations on children. (Maple Ridge News file)

Fraser Health COVID-19 immunization clinics shifting focus to children

Just over half of children in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have one jab

With more than 90 per cent of eligible people 12 years and older across our the Lower Mainland having received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Fraser Health will now focus on vaccinating children.

As of March 1, 88 per cent of people in Maple Ridge aged 18 and over had received their second dose, and 92 per cent in Pitt Meadows. Boosters have also been accepted, with 81 per cent of those aged 70-plus having received their third dose in Maple Ridge, and 85 per cent in Pitt Meadows.

However, in the 5-11 age group only 25 per cent of children in Maple Ridge have received their second dose of vaccine, and 29 per cent in Pitt Meadows. The first dose vax rate is higher: 53 per cent in Maple Ridge and 58 per cent in Pitt Meadows. Vaccination progress has slowed, rising only a few percentage points over the past month for this demographic.

The health authority said it is “ramping down our large clinics” to match demand. The remaining COVID-19 clinics, along with 390 pharmacies across the region which have registered to administer COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 12 and over, will ensure sufficient capacity moving ahead.

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In addition to COVID-19 vaccine, some remaining clinics will offer childhood immunizations. Fraser Health is providing an easy opportunity for children and youth to get up-to-date on immunizations such as the Tdap-IPV vaccine, which protects against tetanus diphtheria, whooping cough and polio, and the MMRV vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

Parents can view the list of immunization clinics that will offer childhood and school-aged immunizations and book an appointment at Fraserhealth.ca/Childhoodimms. These clinics are recommended for children four months of age or older. For children under four months old, parents can book appointments with a family physician, nurse practitioner or local Public Health unit.

For updated information on COVID-19 immunization clinics, including hours of operation, visit www.fraserhealth.ca/vax.

Anyone five years of age and older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and may register on the Get Vaccinated provincial system to be notified of when to book an appointment.

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COVID-19maple ridgePitt Meadowsvaccines