QCOVID DIGEST – Canada’s health regulator has authorized the Pfizer/BionTech coronavirus vaccine for children between 12 and 15 years old. Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser for Health Canada, confirmed the approval.
The vaccine was previously approved for anyone at least 16 or older. Canada is the first country in the world to approve the use of the vaccine in children under 16.
Pfizer released preliminary results in March from a vaccine study in the US of 2,260 volunteers between 12 and 15 years old, showing no COVID cases among those fully vaccinated.
Sharma said there was evidence that the vaccine was safe and effective in the 12-15 age group.
US regulators are expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 and up next week.
The regulatory approval comes as the Canadian province of Alberta reported its first death linked to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after a patient died from a rare blot condition, VITT. The patient was a woman in her 50s.
However, authorities have reiterated that the vaccine’s benefits far outweigh the concerns over its safety.
It was the first death and the second case of VITT out of the roughly 250,000 doses of the vaccine administered in the province. Last month, Quebec recorded Canada’s first death linked to the shot.