Covid-19: Canada approves Pfizer's vaccine for children, shipments to start immediately

Health Canada said clinical trials showed the vaccine was 90.7% effective at preventing Covid in those aged between 5 to 11.

By Reuters

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Reuters file
Reuters file

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 7:16 PM

Canada on Friday authorized the use of Pfizer Inc's Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, paving the way for the inoculation of elementary school-age children across the country.

The shot is the first to be made available for young children in Canada. Officials had made clear for weeks that the decision would be favourable, noting that incidences of Covid-19 are highest in those under 12.

"After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the department has determined that the benefits of this vaccine for children between five and 11 years of age outweigh the risks," Health Canada said in a statement.

Separately, Pfizer Canada said in a statement it would begin sending shipments imminently.

The vaccine will be given in two doses of 10 micrograms, three weeks apart. Adult doses contain 30 micrograms.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last month that Ottawa had signed a deal with Pfizer to quickly receive 2.9 million doses of the vaccine once it was approved.

Health Canada said clinical trials showed the vaccine was 90.7 per cent effective at preventing Covid-19 in those aged between 5 to 11 and no serious side effects were identified.

The US Food and Drug Administration authorised use of the vaccine for those aged 5 to 11 on October 29.

Canadian officials were expected to give more details at a news conference at 10am (1500 GMT) on Friday

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