Canada Approves Use of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Aged 12 to 15

Canada’s health agency on May 5 authorized the use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, becoming the first country to do so.

“After completing a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the Department has determined that this vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 when used in children between 12 and 15 years of age,” Health Canada announced in a statement, referring to the data from a United States-based trial that involved over 2,000 participants aged 12 to 15.

Data from the clinical trial of the vaccine showed that none of the participants who received the vaccine developed symptomatic infections and they also produced strong anti-body responses.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine becomes the first authorized vaccine in Canada to be approved for use in children. It was initially authorized for use for people aged 16 years and above.

Health Canada Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma described the authorization as “a significant milestone in Canada’s fight against the pandemic.”

“While younger people are less likely to experience serious cases of COVID-19, having access to a safe and effective vaccine will help to control the disease’s spread to their families and friends — some of whom may be at a higher risk of complications,” Sharma said.

“It will also support the return to a more normal life for our children, who have had such a hard time over the past year,” Sharma also said.

Health Canada also required the biopharmaceutical company to continue providing information on the safety, efficacy, and quality of the vaccine “to ensure its benefits continue to be demonstrated once it is on the market.”

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