Canada, the first to authorize vaccines for children 12 years and older
Now, kids between the ages of 12 and 15 can get vaccinated in Canada. Thus, the country becomes the first to authorize the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the range of those ages, while the European Union and the United States, for now, are still reviewing its use in minors.
The announcement comes just a month after Pfizer announced that its vaccine provides protection to the young population and that the vaccine is already licensed for people 16 years of age and older. Until now, the Canadian health authorities have only authorized vaccination for those over 16 years of age.
Fabien Paquette, CEO of Pfizer Canada and head of vaccines, said that “the extension of our authorization represents a significant step to help Canada expand its vaccination program and begin to help protect adolescents before the start of the next school year”.
The challenge, accelerate the de-escalation
Supriya Sharma, the Trudeau government’s chief medical adviser, said at a press conference that “around a fifth of all coronavirus cases in Canada have occurred in children and adolescents, so a vaccine is now available for they are an important part of the plan to reduce cases ”.
In this sense, the Canadian health authorities defend that although the majority of children do not experience serious diseases from covid, the vaccine will help protect their environment, friends and family, who may have a higher risk of complications. “It will also support a return to normalcy for our children, who have been through difficult times this year,” added Sharma.
In late March, the company released preliminary results of a vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, showing there have been no cases of Covid-19 among fully vaccinated teens by comparison. with the 18 infections among those who received sham injections.
More vaccines for everyone
Vaccination has accelerated in recent weeks in Canada and health authorities are confident that they will receive at least 10 million vaccines in May. To date, 34 percent of Canadians (more than one in three Canadians) have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Canadians, who have mostly received the AstraZeneca vaccine, question the effectiveness of Pfizer. Remember that people are likely to need a third dose of the vaccine 6 to 12 months after their first round, said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, a few days ago.
During a CVS Health Live event posted on Facebook, Bourla said that real-world data shows that the Pfizer vaccine is effective against a worrisome variant of the coronavirus that was first seen in South Africa, called B.1.351.
By Silvia Méndez