Canada authorizes Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15

Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau visits a vaccination clinic in Montreal

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is prepared in a vaccination clinic at the Palais des Congres, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Montreal, Quebec, Canada March 15, 2021. (REUTERS)

TORONTO — Canada is authorizing the use of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children from 12 to 15, the first dose to be allowed for people that young, the federal health ministry said on Wednesday.

“The department determined that this vaccine is safe and effective when used in this younger age group,” Supriya Sharma, a senior adviser at the ministry, told a briefing. “We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Canada’s federal government has bought tens of millions of doses of vaccines but critics complain the pace of inoculation is lagging amid bottlenecks in the 10 provinces, which are responsible for administering the doses.

Sharma said Pfizer, which is working with German partner BioNTech SE, would be required to provide information on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine in the 12 to 15 age group.

Around 20% of the 1,249,950 cases of COVID-19 in Canada have been reported in people under the age of 19. Canada has also recorded 24,396 deaths.

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