Pfizer requests Health Canada approval for kids’ COVID-19 shot

By Laura Osman, The Canadian Press and Lucas Casaletto

OTTAWA – Pfizer has asked Health Canada to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 years old.

As soon as the regulator gives the green light, providers will be able to start offering the COVID-19 shot to kids, though new child-sized doses might need to be procured.

The doses are about one-third the size given to adults and teens age 12 and up.

The vaccine was developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech and is now marketed under the brand name Comirnaty. It was authorized for people at least 16 years old last December, and for kids between 12 and 15 in May.

Health Canada then announced in September that both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines were granted full approval for anyone aged 12-and-up in the country.

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Pfizer already submitted clinical trial data for its child-sized dose to Health Canada at the beginning of the month and made a formal request for approval to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has also been tested on children as young as six months old. Topline data for children under five years old is expected as soon as the end of the year.

The vaccine is administered as a two-dose series, at least three weeks apart. A third dose may be administered at least four weeks after the second dose to individuals who are determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise.

A single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be administered to individuals 65 years of age and older, 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19 and to those18 through 64 years of age whose “frequent institutional or occupational exposure to the virus” puts them at high risk of serious COVID-19 complications.

The news comes in midst of a recent survey from the Angus Reid Institute that suggests half of the parents with kids under the age of 11 are ready to vaccinate their little ones against COVID-19.

One in two parents told the pollster they plan to get their kids vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.

This number jumps to 63 per cent in households where parents have a university education and dips a little to 46 per cent for those with a high school diploma or less.

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