Pharmacies can now vaccinate kids five and up

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Manitoba pharmacists will now be able to vaccinate children aged five and older, the province announced Wednesday.

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This article was published 18/11/2021 (274 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba pharmacists will now be able to vaccinate children aged five and older, the province announced Wednesday.

On Nov. 5, Pharmacists Manitoba wrote to Health Minister Audrey Gordon requesting the provincial government adjust policy to allow pharmacists to vaccinate kids five and up — previously, the policy limited the age to seven and above.

The policy change will allow pharmacists to vaccinate for flu, and COVID-19 — once such a vaccine is approved for five- to 11-year-olds by Health Canada.

FILE / Winnipeg Free Press Ashley Hart, president of Pharmacists Manitoba, in this file image.

“The request was in line with the imminent modifications we anticipate, which will allow for children ages five (5) and up to receive their COVID-19 vaccines,” Pharmacists Manitoba president Ashley Hart stated in a press release yesterday.

“We believe that this policy change will help avoid the mass confusion and frustration which we had anticipated if there were an age discrepancy between the age of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, and the age which pharmacists are permitted to vaccinate.”

One Brandon pharmacist, however, shared his concerns with the Sun following the announcement.

Vince Olsen, a Brandon Clinic Pharmasave pharmacist, said some pharmacies are not set up to cater to young children receiving a vaccine.

“No two pharmacy dispensaries are set up the same. And we’re not really equipped for screaming kids. We don’t have big elaborate waiting rooms or anything like that,” Olsen said Wednesday. “We’ve received no special training to vaccinate youngsters.

“In a lot of cases, people that age who are getting vaccinated are not getting vaccinated because they want to be vaccinated. For the most part, it’s the parent dragging them.”

Olsen suggested that schools provide a much better environment for children receiving a shot in the arm.

“The schools have a history of taking care of most vaccine campaigns, I think going all the way back to polio vaccines in the ’50s.

“They’ve got the room, they’ve got the time, they’ve got the resources … so it still seems like the most logical place.”

Nonetheless, the pharmacist is pleased that Canadian children under the age of 12 may soon have the opportunity to get immunized against COVID-19, pending Health Canada’s approval.

“The very good news is getting those vaccinations approved for kids. Because so many of the cases that are still rolling in are in that age group,” Olsen said.

»With files from Kyle Darbyson

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