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Canada authorises Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15

Kathmandu – It is the first country to do so for that age group. The country’s health ministry made the decision based on data from phase three clinical trials on children that age.

“The department determined that this vaccine is safe and effective when used in this younger age group,” an adviser at the ministry said. Pfizer says its jab works well in the age group.

Canada has already authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine in people over 16. The province of Alberta, which has the highest rate of the virus in the country, said it would offer vaccines to those over 12 from Monday.

Canada has recorded more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases and roughly 20% of those have been in people under the age of 19.

The country’s vaccine rollout has been relatively slow, caused by delivery delays. About 34% of people in the country have received at least one dose of the vaccine while the figure in the US stands at 44%, according to Our World in Data.

The government has also faced criticism for drawing on a supply of Covid vaccines from the Covax inoculation-sharing scheme. Covax pools funds from wealthier countries to help buy vaccines for themselves and low-income nations.

Children’s risk of becoming very ill or dying with Covid-19 is tiny, and throughout the pandemic they have very rarely needed hospital treatment.

As part of the vaccine’s approval, Pfizer will have to continue providing information to Canada’s health ministry on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine in those aged 12 to 15.

In March, Pfizer said initial results from trials of its vaccine in this age group showed 100% efficacy and a strong immune response.

The US Food and Drug administration and the European Medicines Agency are currently reviewing whether they can Authorise the jab for younger people, with decisions expected soon.

US President Joe Biden this week laid out plans to roll out vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds as soon as possible.


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