Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Health Patty Hajdu look at empty vials which held the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a visit to the Civic Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada December 15, 2020 Photograph:( Reuters )
Pfizer in late March released preliminary results from a vaccine study of 2,260 US volunteers ages 12 to 15 showing there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared with 18 among those given dummy shots
Canada on Wednesday approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12 years and up, becoming the first nation to do so.
"This is the first vaccine authorized in Canada for the prevention of Covid-19 in children and marks a significant milestone in Canada's fight against the pandemic," Health Canada chief medical advisor Supriya Sharma told a news conference.
Data from clinical trials show the vaccine is as safe for adolescents as it is for adults, she said.
The US Food and Drug Administration is also expected to authorise Pfizer's vaccine for young by next week, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year. The announcement comes barely a month after the company found that its shot, which is already authorized for those age 16 and older, also provided protection for the younger group.
Pfizer in late March released preliminary results from a vaccine study of 2,260 US volunteers ages 12 to 15 showing there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared with 18 among those given dummy shots.
Kids had side effects similar to young adults, the company said. The main side effects are pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose. The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.
Vaccinations have ramped in Canada in months and expects to receive at least 10 million vaccines this month. More than 34 per cent of Canadians have received at least one dose.
(With inputs from agencies)