MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Canada began immunising children aged five to 11 against COVID-19 Wednesday, joining a handful of nations including Israel and the United States in offering shots to this age group.
At Montreal’s convention centre, a few dozen youngsters were among the first to receive the Pfizer doses authorised since last Friday for this age group.
To help ease their fears of needles, additional measures have been taken such posting stickers of unicorns or hockey players on partitions between nursing stations, longer appointments than for adults, and a dog to pet.
“I was not really scared, but I was stressed,” Victor, 10, told AFP, gripping a colouring page with the words “bravo, you received your vaccine” in his hands.
At his side, his mother Mathilde explains that he felt “excluded” from his family, being the only one who had not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19.
For her, having her son vaccinated made sense, if only to “be together” and “be able to hug her grandparents” without fear.
“We are privileged, frankly,” added Yanouchka Labrousse, a doctor and mother of two vaccinated children.