Health Canada just approved its first COVID vaccine for kids 5 and up
COVID vaccines for kids are now officially a thing in Canada, the federal government announced Friday morning,
More specifically, Health Canada has authorized the use of Pfizer-BioNTech's two-dose vaccine against COVID-19 in children ages five to 11, making "Comirnaty" the first drug of its kind approved for use in kids.
"Today, Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11 years of age," announced the government just minutes ago.
"This is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for use in this age group and marks a major milestone in Canada's fight against COVID-19."
This particular vaccine was initially authorized for use in people 16 and older last December, and given the green light by Health Canada for use in children 12 to 15 in May of 2021.
Health Canada says Pfizer-BioNTech applied to expand the use of Comirnaty on October 18 of this year. Moderna has also applied for approval of its Spikevax vaccines in children aged six to 11. The application is still pending.
"After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the Department has determined that the benefits of this vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years of age outweigh the risks," reads a news release issued by the government this morning regarding Pfixer's vaccine, specifically.
The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 90.7 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children 5 to 11 with no serious side effects, says Health Canada, with clinical trials showing an immune response "comparable to the immune response in people 16 to 25 years of age.:
"Health Canada has authorized a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms to be administered three weeks apart, which is a lower dose than the 30 micrograms two-dose regimen authorized for people 12 years of age and older," reads the release.
More details are expected to roll out later Friday morning in regards to logistics, but we do know that it will be up to each province and public health unit to administer these vaccines.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said earlier this week that kids aged five to 11 should be receiving their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of November.
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