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B.C.’s vaccination rate for kids five to 11 is the second lowest in the country, behind only Alberta, according to data from Health Canada as of Jan. 15. In B.C., 47% of children in the youngest age cohort have received their first dose, behind the national average of 51%.

B.C. has been pushing for parents to get their kids immunized since Health Canada approved the use of the COVID-19 vaccine for young children in mid-November, but overall the response has been very slow since then. Newfoundland and Labrador is number one for immunization rates in that age group at an estimated 74 per cent, and B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry admits B.C. could learn a few things from them.

“I look in awe to Newfoundland and Labrador and my colleague Dr. Janice Fitzgerald there,” Henry said Tuesday.

Newfoundland and Labrador also has the highest immunization rates in the country, at 89 per cent. B.C. is not far behind for those 12 and older. Henry says it’s more important than ever for everyone who can be vaccinated to get the shot, especially as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout communities and hospitalization rates rise.

A graph breaking down the Fraser Health Region in terms of immunization rates in chilldren