Doctor to hold session on child vaccines with Central Okanagan parents

Guest presenter for virtual forum Nov. 23 will be Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Katharine Smart

Health Canada has given approval this week for the Phizer vaccine to be given to 5-11 year old children. (Jonathan Hayward/CP -file photo)

The president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will make a presentation to Central Okanagan school parents about the COVID vaccine for children ages five to 11 in a virtual forum taking place Tuesday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m.

Dr. Katharine Smart, a Yukon pediatrician, will speak and then participate in a question-and-answer session responding to questions submitted by B.C. parents.

The forum comes in the wake of Health Canada having given approval to the Pfizer vaccine for younger children in an announcement this week.

The Central Okanagan Parents Advisory Council is co-sponsoring the appearance by Smart with the parent advisory councils for the Vancouver and Surrey school districts.

“In anticipation of a decision on a vaccine for children aged five to 11 and alarming COVID-19 test positivity rates in school aged children, we believe this is an important opportunity for parents and caregivers in B.C., ” said Simon Adams, president of the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council (COPAC).

Recognizing that opportunity, after receiving initial outreach from the CMA, Adams said COPAC engaged with other parent advisory councils to provide a wider participation access beyond the Central Okanagan School District.

Adams said it is clear to COPAC that at a grassroots level, many parents have concerns and uncertainties about the 5-11 year olds being vaccinated.

Those concerns and questions extend both from parents who are double vaccinated and those who are not.

“I heard a media reported survey number that only 50 per cent of parents in B.C. reported have a degree of certainty that children should be vaccinated, which means a sigificant portion of the population have concerns,” Adams said.

“So for us, we felt it would be a tremendous service to parents to provide that opportunity to being in a medical doctor, someone who is a pediatrician, who has a national perspective on this issue as head of the CMA…who can be asked questions by parents to address their concerns.”

Adams said their children are the most prized possession in the lives of parents “so they want to be sure they are doing the right thing” on the child vaccination issue.

Questions for Smart can be submitted to https://forms.office.coom/r/qZXddtpATR

The forum will be livestreamed at https://youtu.be/OJmoJmzGQE and also at www.copac.sd23.bc.ca.

SEE MORE: COVID-19 vaccine registration open in B.C. for kids aged 5-11

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