Pfizer Canada Cites ‘Emergency’ in Plans to Seek Authorization of COVID Vaccine for Children

Pfizer Canada has announced plans to provide Health Canada with data showing that its COVID-19 vaccine works for children with the goal of seeking clearance “as soon as possible.”

Pfizer Canada has announced plans to provide Health Canada with data showing that its COVID-19 vaccine works for children with the goal of seeking clearance “as soon as possible.”

Pfizer said on Monday that its research showed its product worked for children between the ages of five and 11, and that it would also seek US clearance for this age group soon – a key step towards protecting schoolchildren. against the new coronavirus.

Christina Antoniou, the company’s corporate affairs director in Canada, says they “share the urgency” of providing data that could lead to a shot at young children.

She couldn’t say when this information would be submitted, but notes that Pfizer has sent new vaccine data to Health Canada as soon as it becomes available.

Pfizer’s latest findings have not been peer reviewed or published.

Health Canada says several studies on children are underway by various manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines, and that it “expects vaccine manufacturers to provide data on children in the coming months.”

Health Canada adds that no submissions have yet been received for the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12 years of age.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is already available to anyone aged 12 and over.

Pfizer has studied a lower dose of its two-dose vaccine in more than 2,200 kindergarten and elementary school students, primarily in the United States and Europe. It indicates that children have developed levels of anti-coronavirus antibodies as strong as those detected in adolescents and young adults.

Moderna is also testing its vaccines in school-aged children, and Pfizer and Moderna are studying COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months old. The results are expected later this year.

Medical officials called the results of Pfizer’s trial with children “encouraging,” but cautioned against anticipating too soon too soon.

The medical lead for Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine implementation team said it was too early to know what the results could mean for children under 12 in the province.

“Right now, we don’t even know how well it protects, or how many side effects we’ve seen. We are at the very beginning of the planning, ”said Dr Joss Reimer.

However, Reimer said the team has started planning in case Health Canada approves the Pfizer vaccine for children.

She said this could include providing doses in schools or setting up alternative clinics for young people.

A spokeswoman for the Ontario Ministry of Health said the province is “monitoring the evidence.”

“In collaboration with our public health and health system partners, we will be ready to administer doses to children aged five to 11 as soon as they are approved by Health Canada,” said Alexandra Hilkene.

Alberta has also said it will wait for Health Canada approval before vaccinating children.

“Until vaccines are approved for this age group, young children rely on older Albertans who are immunized to strengthen our defenses to protect everyone in our province,” said the spokesperson. provincial government Lisa Glover.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Monday, September 20, 2021.

– With files from Laura Osman in Ottawa, Brittany Hobson in Winnipeg, John Chidley-Hill in Toronto, Bob Weber in Edmonton and Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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