Health Canada has approved the first COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11 in Canada.
According to the CDC website, children ages five years and older are now able to get an age-appropriate dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
(1/3) Health Canada has authorized the use of Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty #CovidVaccine in children 5 to 11 years of age. Until now, this vaccine was authorized for use in people 12 years of age or older. https://t.co/rKTp7lzBJB
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) November 19, 2021
In a statement Thursday, Pfizer Canada said the company was prepared to deliver the pediatric doses to Canada shortly following federal authorization.
The vaccine is the same one used for adults but children would receive a smaller dose.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech submitted a request for approval of a child-sized dose of its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 on Oct. 18.
In a statement on Friday, Health Canada said the vaccine authorization marks a major milestone in Canada’s fight against COVID-19.
“After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the Department has determined that the benefits of this vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years of age outweigh the risks,” reads the statement. “Health Canada has authorized a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms to be administered three weeks apart, which is a lower dose than the 30 micrograms two-dose regimen authorized for people 12 years of age and older.”
Health Canada says the clinical trial showed that the immune response in children five to 11 years of age was comparable to the immune response in people 16 to 25 years of age. The vaccine was 90.7 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children five to 11 years of age and no serious side effects were identified.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has suggested that two doses may be offered to children in that age group, with at least eight weeks between doses.
Earlier this week, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said the provincial booking system should be ready by next week for parents to make appointments for their children.
WATCH BELOW: The federal government is scheduled to make the announcement during a media briefing with officials at 10 a.m.