Health Canada Approves Pfizer Vaccine For Children Aged 5 To 11

Friday November 19th, 2021

Posted at 10:01am

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File photo of vaccination signs at the Devonshire Mall vaccination clinic (windsoriteDOTca file photo)

Health Canada has authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, also known as Comirnaty, in children 5 to 11 years of age, the agency announced Friday morning.

This is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for use in this age group. Health Canada says it marks a major milestone in Canada’s fight against COVID-19.

The vaccine was initially authorized for use in people 16 years of age and older on December 9th, 2020, and subsequently authorized for children 12 to 15 years of age on May 5th, 2021. Health Canada received an application from Pfizer-BioNTech to expand the age range to ages 5 to 11 on October 18th, 2021.

Health Canada says a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence was conducted and they determined that the benefits of the vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years of age outweigh the risks. 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.

The clinical trial showed that the immune response in children 5 to 11 years of age was comparable to the immune response in people 16 to 25 years of age, Health Canada says. The vaccine was 90.7 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children 5 to 11 years of age and no serious side effects were identified, they say.

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is expected to announce the expanded eligibility for the vaccine in children in the near future.

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