Pfizer Canada says it plans to provide Health Canada with data showing that its COVID-19 vaccine works for children to receive authorization “as soon as possible.”

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Pfizer said Monday its research shows that its product works for children ages five to 11 and it will soon seek US authorization for this age group as well – school children exposed to the novel coronavirus. An important step towards saving.

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The company’s director of corporate affairs in Canada, Christina Antonio, says they “share the urgency” to provide data that could lead to a shot for young children.

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She couldn’t say when that information would be presented, but notes Pfizer is sending new vaccine data to Health Canada as it becomes available.

Pfizer’s latest findings have neither been reviewed nor published.

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Health Canada says there are several ongoing studies on children by various COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, and it “expects vaccine manufacturers to make data available in children in the coming months.”

Health Canada says no submissions have yet been received for the approval of any COVID-19 vaccine in children under the age of 12.

The vaccine, made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, is already available for people 12 years of age and older.

Pfizer studied low doses of its two-dose vaccine in more than 2,200 kindergartners and primary school-aged children, mostly in the United States and Europe. It said that the children had as strong levels of antibodies fighting the coronavirus as those found in teenagers and young adults.

Moderna is also testing its shots in elementary school-aged children, and both Pfizer and Moderna are studying COVID-19 vaccines for children under six months old. Results are expected later in the year.

Medical officials called the results of Pfizer’s testing with children “encouraging” but cautioned against guessing too soon.

The medical lead with Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine implementation team said it was too early to know what the findings might mean for children under 12 in the province.

“At this point in time, we don’t even know how well it protects, how many side effects they’ve seen. We’re too early to plan,” Dr. Jose Reimer said.

However, Reimer said the team will begin planning when Health Canada approves the Pfizer vaccine for children.

He said this could include providing supplements in schools or building alternative clinics for youth.

A spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of Health said the province is “monitoring the evidence.”

“Working with our public health and health system partners, we will be ready to introduce doses to children ages five to 11 as soon as they are approved by Health Canada,” said Alexandra Hilken.

Alberta also said it would wait for Health Canada’s approval before vaccinating children.

Provincial government spokeswoman Lisa Glover said: “Until vaccines are approved for this age group, young children are counting on older Alberts to strengthen our defenses to protect everyone in our province.” are immune to.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Monday, September 20, 2021.

With files from Laura Osman in Ottawa, Brittany Hobson in Winnipeg, John Chidley-Hill in Toronto, Bob Weber in Edmonton and the Associated Press