Health Canada Approves Use of Pfizer Vaccine for Children Ages 5 to 11

Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada (left), and Supriya Sharma, Chief Medical Advisor to the Deputy Minister (right).
Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada (left), and Supriya Sharma, Chief Medical Advisor to the Deputy Minister (right).

Health Canada has now officially authorized the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. This will be the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for this age group.

Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and Supriya Sharma, Chief Medical Advisor to the Deputy Minister, made the announcement at a media conference Friday 19NOV.

Health Canada found that the vaccine was over 90 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children 5 to 11.

The Department authorized a two-dose regimen to be administered three weeks apart, a lower dosage than the two-dose regimen authorized for people 12 years of age and older.

Shot in the Arm for Travel

The news is welcome for families looking to book travel this winter.

It’s especially important for those who plan to cruise with children, as a number of cruise lines – including major family-friendly cruise lines – require 100 per cent vaccination. Norwegian Cruise Line has recently announced that its vaccination requirement would remain in place “indefinitely” for all age groups. In addition, Disney Cruise Line recently announced it will require all guests over the age of 5 to be fully vaccinated as of 13JAN 2022.

According to CP24, Canada is expecting an accelerated delivery of 2.9m child-sized doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is enough for a first dose for every Canadian child in the newly eligible age group.

As reported in Open Jaw, deliveries of children’s Pfizer vaccine doses are expected to arrive within days following Friday’s federal authorization, with provinces on stand-by to begin administration of the doses when they arrive.

That would meet predictions in recent weeks that most Canadian children should be able to have at least one dose by Christmas. With a three-week interval, that would allow most Canadian children to be fully vaccinated at least in time for March Break vacations.

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