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Flexible bookings give families, teens more options for COVID-19 shots

Independent teens can go alone, with friends, their family or a trusted adult to get a shot in B.C. after the province made it easier to get more shots into arms
Child after covid shot
Fraser Warren shows off his arm after getting a COVID-19 shot at the Poirier Forum in Coquitlam. The province aims to give children 12 and older a first dose by the end of June.

It’s getting easier for families to get their teens vaccinated as B.C. aims to get kids 12 and older immunized before the end of June.

Whether your teen is an independent self-starter or a middle-schooler who doesn’t want to go alone, there are plenty of options for getting a COVID-19 shot.

This is especially important for time-pressed families that are worried about how to get their teens vaccinated.

The good news is, they can go as a group: Families that want to get their teenaged kids vaccinated at the same time can book for one child — and get doses for everyone.

For example, if you need to get a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old child vaccinated, you can register both. 

And, when you get a booking notification for either child, you only need to book one appointment at the clinic.

“Trusted adults” — not just parents — can also go with teens for support. A “trusted adult” is defined as a grandparent, elder, relative, friend, neighbour, social worker, community support worker or teacher. 

Another option for teens is to attend a vaccination appointment of a parent who has registered and booked. In this case, the teen can attend and get their shot — as long as they’ve registered, too.

For independent teens, there’s no need to have an adult as they can go alone or with friends, and they don’t need a parent’s consent; they can register and book on their own. 

Under the Infants Act, children can give consent as a mature minor to receive health care such as getting a vaccine. 

The flexibility for busy families and teens who have to squeeze in vaccinations amidst school, work and other commitments seems to be paying off.

As of May 25, when information was last provided by Fraser Health, 45% of children 12 and older had registered and 6% had their first dose. 

“We have experienced a tremendous response from people in our communities who are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all youth ages 12 to 17 to register for their COVID-19 vaccine on the Get Vaccinated provincial registration system,” stated a spokesperson from Fraser Health in an email.

In the Tri-Cities, 71% of residents 12 and older have already received their first COVID-19 shot, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Meanwhile, youngsters are expressing their delight at getting vaccinated as part of B.C.’s effort to stamp out coronavirus.

Fraser Warren, a Grade 6 student at Scott Creek Middle School, got his shot this week at the Poirier Forum in Coquitlam. “It’s really nothing,” he said. “It was like a little pinch. I felt fine afterward.”