Canada reached another critical milestone in its fight against COVID-19 with the authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.
Pfizer, one of a few companies whose vaccine is based on mRNA sequencing, was hard at work researching and developing a vaccine suitable for kids below the age of 12. Back in September of this year, Pfizer announced that they have developed a special dose for kids below 12 years of age that has been tested on 2268 participants. The company notes the results were very promising and positive. The kid doses contain only a 1/3 of the amount compared to the regular dose for the adults.
On the 29th of October this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age. The authorization was based on the FDA’s thorough and transparent evaluation of the data that included input from independent advisory committee experts who overwhelmingly voted in favour of making the vaccine available to children in this age group.
The FDA based their emergency authorization of use on three main points
- Effectiveness: Immune responses of children 5 through 11 years of age were comparable to those of individuals 16 through 25 years of age. In addition, the vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11.
- Safety: The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children age 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet next week to discuss further clinical recommendations.
Canadians knew it was only a matter of time before Health Canada gave the go-ahead to vaccinate Canadian children after they had thoroughly reviewed the data. Sources close to the government had indicated they ordered approximately 3 million doses, which is enough to ensure every child within Canada receives their first shot.
The second dose should arrive in the country in time for when it is needed. Although no delivery date has been confirmed, Canadians can feel comfortable knowing there is a vaccine available for every child between the ages of 5 to 11.