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During Tuesday’s provincial COVID-19 update, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that youth sports tournaments can resume starting Feb. 1.
Dr. Henry explained that BC is starting to see a gradual decline in cases in the province combined with an increase in vaccinations for children of all ages and this has allowed for youth sports to return.
“I know that this is an important time of the year for many different sports, especially team sports,” explains Henry.
“We’ve been working with organizers and Via Sport to make sure this can be done in a safe way. That means organizers: you can start planning in anticipation of this change for next week.”
However, adult sports tournaments continue to be paused at this time.
British Columbia has also reviewed the updated vaccination guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) for children aged five to 11.
The committee previously said that the COVID-19 vaccinations may be offered but it is now recommended that all children in that age group should be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“What we are seeing is that five to 11-year olds, thankfully, remain at low risk of severe disease but the number of children being hospitalized because of infection has gone up,” explains Dr. Henry.
She adds that there continues to be an eight week period between the first dose and second dose to ensure the immune system a chance to respond and increase antibodies as well.
“It is not only to protect us for now, but also to make sure that we are giving the best priming of the immune system for the future too,” says Dr. Henry.
Any parents who have had their children vaccinated with their first dose will receive the invitation to book the second vaccine appointment around that eight week period.
The province is also working with the early childhood education sector and will be providing a detailed update during the provincial town hall on Wednesday.