The Canadian Ministry of Health has announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children aged 5 to 11 years, the first vaccine used in this age group in the country.
Health officials announced the decision at Press conference On Friday, a specific timeline for vaccine deployment will be announced later that day.
“This approval is at a critical time in the pandemic,” said Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s Chief Clinical Advisor, and the “incidence” of COVID-19 is increasing among children under the age of 12. I said there is.
“Children are less likely to experience complications, but they can still be very ill. The risk of severe illness is lower in children than in adults, but it’s still there,” she said. Said.
On October 18, Health Canada received an application from Pfizer-BioNTech to extend the use of a vaccine known as Comirnaty to children ages 5-11. The vaccine was approved for children 16 years and older on December 9, 2020, and then for children 12 to 15 years on May 5, 2021.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said the specific schedule for the vaccine’s deployment will be announced at another press conference on Friday.
“We have been working very closely with manufacturers. After approval from Health Canada, we expect to be able to get supplies very quickly,” said Tam.
Health Canada said clinical trials found that the Pfizer vaccine was 90.7 percent more effective in preventing COVID-19 in children aged 5 to 11 years. To determine if the vaccine is effective, Health Canada responds to children aged 5 to 11 years in adolescents and young adults aged 16 to 25 years.
According to health officials, clinical trials tested about 4,600 children between the ages of 5 and 11, of whom 3,100 were vaccinated and 1,500 received placebo.
“The major adverse events reported were similar to those and adolescents and young adults, but less frequently, except for slightly higher redness and swelling at the injection site,” Sharma said.
Other adverse events reported included fatigue and headaches, and Sharma was said to be mostly “mild to moderately severe.” She said that of the 3,100 vaccinated people, four reported serious adverse events, which were determined to be unrelated to the vaccine. So far, there have been no reports of myocarditis, pericarditis, or severe allergic reactions.
A few c since last springDonkey for myocarditis (Inflammation of myocardium) And / or pericarditis (inflammation Of the lining around the heart) After immunization with COVID– –19 vaccines have been reported of Canada And internationally, Israel, including the United States, And Europe..
According to Harvard Medical School, cases of myocarditis and pericarditis are most common in adolescent men and young adults and occur most often after the second dose.
Health Canada To tell To maintain transparency, we plan to publish a number of approval-related documents, including a high-level summary of the evidence reviewed.
When asked if there was a push to encourage parents to vaccinate their children, Tam said there would be a “coming soon” media campaign.
She said the government is working with medical professionals such as pediatricians, family doctors and pharmacists to “all these players accelerate parental support, communication and information.”
“We will also attract people whose parents connect on social media and other channels, so you’ll see it escalate in the next few days,” Tam said.