Younger kids will now be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Friday (Nov.19), Health Canada authorized a Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine made for children aged five to 11. This is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for use in this age group.
This vaccine has a smaller dose than the normal vaccine. According to Health Canada, healthy children have a more robust immune system than teens and adults, and clinical trials found lower doses provided children with very good protection against COVID-19. It’s not clear yet how long protection will last.
The department said clinical trials showed the vaccine was 90.7 per cent effective in children aged five to 11 and no serious side effects were identified.
Kids getting this vaccine should receive two doses. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that the second dose be given at least eight weeks after the first.
Children who turn 12 before their second dose may receive an adult dose.
If possible, children shouldn’t receive the Pfizer vaccine within 14 days of other vaccines, like the flu shot. This is a precaution to monitor any side effects from the vaccines. This does not apply to adults and youth aged 12 to 17.
Vaccine manufacturers will continue to collect information about safety from clinical trial participants and actions will be taken if any safety concerns are found.
Related: COVID-19: drop in hospitalizations, update on local numbers