Canada Authorises Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Aged 12-15
The Canadian health ministry came to the decision based on data from phase three clinical trials.
Canada’s health regulator on Wednesday, 5 May authorised the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15. Canada is the first country to authorise the jab for this age group, while the US and the European Union are reviewing it, reported AP.
The Canadian health ministry came to the decision based on data from phase three clinical trials on children in that age group.
According to BBC, an advisor at the ministry said, "The department determined that this vaccine is safe and effective when used in this younger age group.”
Children studied showed side effects similar to young adults, the company said, mainly pain, fever, chills and fatigue.
As part of the emergency approval, Pfizer needs to continue providing information to the health ministry on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine in the concerned age group, BBC reported.
All those above the age of 16 were already eligible for the Pfizer jab in Canada.
Throughout the COVID-19 health emergency, it has been observed that children’s risk of becoming severely ill, needing hospital treatment or dying from the virus is minuscule.
Last March, Pfizer had said initial results from vaccine trials in this age group showed 100 percent efficacy and produced a strong immune response.
The aim of vaccinating adolescents would be in order to continue physical schooling, reduce the spread of COVID-10 in the community at large and protect children with comorbidities.
“Today’s expansion of our authorisation represents a significant step forward in helping the Canadian government broaden its vaccination program and begin to help protect adolescents before the start of the next school year," Fabien Paquette, vaccines lead for Pfizer Canada, said in a statement.
In the United States, President Joe Biden this week laid out plans to roll out vaccines for adolescents as soon as possible.
Besides Pfizer, vaccine manufacturer Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also currently conducting trials on children aged 12-18. Data from Moderna is expected soon, BBC reported.
Moderna and Pfizer are also testing their vaccines on children aged between six months and 11-years-old, BBC reported.
(With inputs from BBC.)
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