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Canada Authorizes Pfizer Vaccine for Age 12 and Older


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Canada Authorizes Pfizer Vaccine for Age 12 and Older

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s health regulator has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 and older.

Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, on Wednesday confirmed the decision for the ages to 12 to 15 and said it will help children return to a normal life.

The vaccine was previously authorized for anyone 16 or older.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also expected to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for young by next week, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year. The announcement comes barely a month after the company found that its shot, which is already authorized for those age 16 and older, also provided protection for the younger group.

Pfizer in late March released preliminary results from a vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15 showing there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared with 18 among those given dummy shots.

Sharma said the evidence is there that the vaccine is safe and effective in that age group. It is the first vaccine approved for children in Canada.

Sharma said about one-fifth of all cases of COVID-19 in Canada have occurred in children and teenagers, and having a vaccine for them is a critical part of Canada’s plan.

She said while most kids don’t experience serious illness from COVID-19, a vaccine also helps protect their friends and family who may be at higher risk of complications.

“It will also support the return to a more normal life for our children, who have had such a hard time over the past year,″ she said.

Kids studied had side effects similar to young adults, the company said, mainly pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose. The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.

“Today’s expansion of our authorization represents a significant step forward in helping the Canadian government broaden its vaccination program and begin to help protect adolescents before the start of the next school year,” Fabien Paquette, vaccines lead for Pfizer Canada, said in a statement.

Vaccinations have ramped in Canada in months and expects to receive at least 10 million vaccines this month. More than 34% of Canadians have received at least one dose.

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Author: AP News
This post originally appeared on Snopes.com


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