New Westminster is among the fastest Fraser Health municipalities out of the gate when it comes to vaccinating children – but it's lagging far behind Vancouver.
As of Dec. 7, 11% of the city's five-to-11-year-old children had received their first dose of the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.
Invitations to book immunization appointments for the 5-11 age group just started going out on Nov. 29, and New Westminster families appear to have been among the fastest in the region to snag their shots. Among Fraser Health municipalities (the area stretching from Burnaby to Boston Bar), New West and Burnaby are tied for second-highest, behind only Chilliwack at 12%.
The picture is very different in the Vancouver Coastal health region, however, where 12 of 14 health areas have already vaccinated at least 12% of 5-to-11-year-olds. In fact, eight areas have already vaccinated at least 20% of children, with five of those at 25% or higher (Vancouver Centre-North at 25%, Vancouver Westside at 27%, North Vancouver and Vancouver Midtown at 32% apiece, and Central Coast at 58%).
To find out more about vaccinations for children, check the B.C. government's website.
Third doses climbing among older adults
New Westminster is also making progress on third doses among older adults. As of Dec. 7, 56% of the city's 70+ population had received their booster dose, up from 47% last week. Among the 50+ population, the rate has risen to 21%, up from 18% last week.
The province has begun its campaign to provide booster doses for all adults in B.C. So far, booster doses are being provided for people considered to be at higher risk (including people aged 70+, Indigenous people, health-care workers and those considered clinically extremely vulnerable).
Third doses are also being made available in 2021 for those who received AstraZeneca for both their first and second doses. The province says those shots are being made available based on the date of second doses, at about six months following the second dose.
Booster doses for the general population will be made available starting in January 2022, at six to eight months following the second-dose date.
For first and second doses, New Westminster's vaccination rates have largely plateaued – albeit at high levels. As of Dec. 7, 92% of the city's eligible population (aged 12+) is now considered fully vaccinated with two doses – up just one percentage point over the previous week.
The second-dose rate for teens (aged 12 to 17) has also inched up: it's at 88% this week (up from 87%).
Vaccination rates in New Westminster as of Dec. 7, 2021
(last week's numbers in brackets)
5-11: 11% (0%)
12+: 94% (94%)
12-17: 92% (92%)
18+: 94% (94%)
18-49: 96% (96%)
50+: 92% (92%)
70+: 93% (93%)
5-11: 0% (*second doses are not being given for this age group at this point)
12+: 92% (91%)
12-17: 88% (87%)
18+: 92% (91%)
18-49: 93% (93%)
50+: 90% (90%)
70+: 91% (91%)
5-11: 0% (*boosters are not being given for this age group at this point)
12+: 10% (9%)
12-17: 0% (*boosters are not being given for this age group at this point)
18+: 11% (9%)
50+: 21% (18%)
70+: 56% (47%)