OTTAWA, ON – Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has officially been green-lit for kids from five to 11 years old in Canada.
This marks the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized for use in that age group.
Health Canada received the application from Pfizer-BioNTech to expand its vaccine to kids on October 18, shortly after it was given the go-ahead for children 12 to 15 years old on May 5.
The agency has authorized a lower dose for kids under 11, almost a third of the normal shot given to those 12 and older. It will still require two shots at least three weeks apart.
Officials say this decision is backed by clinical trial data that shows the vaccine is 90.7% effective in children five to 11 years old, with no serious side effects reported.
“Over the course of the third and the fourth waves, incident rates have been increasing among children less than 12 years of age, who – until now – have not been eligible for vaccination,” Canada’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, said during a virtual press conference Friday morning (Nov. 19). “Overall, this is very good news… It provides another tool to protect Canadians, and – to the relief of many parents – will help bring back a degree of normality to childrens’ lives.”
The federal government announced in late-October that 2.9-million doses will arrive in Canada as soon as possible. Alberta will likely announce its plans for the vaccine for kids very soon, as well.