Canada to approve Pfizer vaccine for children

Canada’s federal government to announce on Friday that Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children aged five to 11.

Elad Benari ,

Pfizer vaccine
Pfizer vaccine
Kobi Richter/TPS

Canada’s federal government is set to announce on Friday that Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11, the Canadian Press reports.

Provinces have said they are poised and ready to start vaccinating children as soon as doses are distributed.

Canada is expecting an accelerated delivery of 2.9 million child-sized doses, enough for a first dose for every child in the five to 11 age group.

In a statement on Thursday, Pfizer Canada said the company is prepared to deliver the pediatric doses to Canada shortly following the Health Canada authorization.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech submitted a request for approval of a child-sized doses of its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 on October 18.

Health Canada said it would only approve the vaccine for children if its analysis showed the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children in late October.

The vaccine is administered as a two-dose primary series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose, 10 micrograms, than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older which is 30 micrograms.

In Israel, the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Nachman Ash, on Sunday accepted the recommendation of the epidemiological treatment team and the advisory team for COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate children aged 5-11.

In his reasoning for accepting the recommendation, the Director General of the Ministry of Health explained that a large majority of the committee members believed that the vaccine had a good safety profile.

The efficacy data presented by Pfizer indicate a 91% efficacy in disease prevention in children aged 5-11 in a controlled clinical study.