Canada authorises Pfizer covid vaccine for children aged 12-15
London, May 5, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12 years and up, becoming the first nation to do so.
Canada’s Health Chief Medical Advisor, Supriya Sharma, disclosed this on Wednesday during a news conference.
The country’s health ministry made the decision based on data from phase three clinical trials on children that age.
“The department determined that this vaccine is safe and effective when used in this younger age group,” an adviser at the ministry said. Pfizer says its jab works well in the age group.
We are proud to announce that Health Canada has expanded the Interim Order authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine for use in adolescents aged 12 – 15. Read the full press release here.— Pfizer Canada (@PfizerCA) May 5, 2021
Canada has already authorised the use of the Pfizer vaccine in people over 16.
The country has recorded more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases and roughly 20% of those have been in people under the age of 19.
Children’s risk of becoming very ill or dying with Covid-19 is tiny, and throughout the pandemic they have very rarely needed hospital treatment.
Last March, Pfizer said initial results from trials of its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 showed 100% efficacy and a strong immune response.
Pfizer is one of a number of vaccine manufacturers testing jabs on children. The aim of vaccinating them – particularly older children – would be to keep schools open, reduce the spread of coronavirus in the community and protect vulnerable children with conditions which put them at increased risk.
US President Joe Biden this week laid out plans to roll out vaccines for 12-15 year-olds as soon as possible.
In the UK, AstraZeneca is testing its vaccine on 300 child volunteers. Researchers will assess whether the jab produces a strong immune response in children aged between six and 17.