Canadian children 12 and up will be able to get their COVID-19 vaccine jabs from Pfizer Inc. following approval from the country’s regulator.
Health Canada gave the green light to administering the vaccine to that age group Wednesday.
The Pfizer vaccine is the most widely used across one throughout the country and it is the first of Canada’s four approved vaccines to get the nod for children 12-15 years old.
“After completing a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, [regulators] determined that this vaccine is safe and effective when used in this younger age group,” Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, said during a briefing with media.
She added that after a second dose, the vaccine was 100% successful at preventing COVID-19.
The study included participation from 2,000 children ages 12-15 and results were compared to the responses from young Canadians ages 16-25.
Among the 1,000 children who did not receive the vaccine, 18 developed cases of COVID-19. None of the 1,000 children who did receive the vaccine developed COVID-19.
“Although this is the first vaccine authorized for children, other manufacturers of the vaccines authorized in Canada are conducting or planning studies in adolescents and young children, including children from six months to 11 years of age,” Sharma said.
“As soon as we receive these submissions, Health Canada will expedite the review.”
The Pfizer vaccine has been permitted for children 16 years and up since December 2020.
B.C.’s vaccination plan does not presently include plans for inoculating children under the age of 16.