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Canada COVID-19: Canada becomes first country in world to approve a vaccine for kids age 12 to 15

18:41  05 may  2021
18:41  05 may  2021 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical advisor at Health Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai © Provided by Ottawa Citizen Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical advisor at Health Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

Health Canada has authorized a vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was given approval on Wednesday by Health Canada after a scientific review found it was safe and effective, marking another major milestone in the fight against COVID-19.

About 20 per cent of cases of the virus since the pandemic began are in people under age 20, said Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical advisor at Health Canada. While children and youth are less likely to get seriously ill with COVID-19, they can transmit the virus.

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Vaccination of children will help control transmission of the virus and allow children to return to a more normal life, Sharma said at a briefing Wednesday.

Clinical trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine among youth showed it had 100 per cent efficacy after two doses, officials said.

Canada is the first country in the world to authorize Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, although other countries are studying the data, said Sharma. Vaccination of that age group in Canada can begin immediately.

The companies that produce Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are both conducting studies on vaccines for younger children, said Marc Berthiaume, director of the bureau of medical science at Health Canada, at a press conference. A study of Moderna vaccines on children aged 12 to 15 is now under way and results are expected soon, he said. Another study of that vaccine for children aged six months to 12 years is expected to have results in 2023, he said.

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On the issue of mixing types of vaccines for the second shot, Health Canada officials said a clinical trial on that issue may start in Canada. A study is being done in the United Kingdom on mixing vaccines and results should be available next month.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is already approved for people aged 16 and older.

Several other companies are now conducting clinical trials on vaccines for children from age six months to 11 years.

Ontario is expected to update its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan Wednesday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones are scheduled to address the province’s ongoing immunization effort.

Ontario said on Tuesday that a total of more than 5.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in the province. That amounts to 82.39 per cent of Ontario’s available vaccine supply.

The province has said that all adults over age 18 should be eligible to book a vaccine by the week of May 24.

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Here is the schedule that was released last week:

table

A provincial court is also expected to rule Wednesday on allegations of discrimination in Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout. The constitutional challenge turns on whether vulnerable people have had fair access to the vaccine.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered.

NACI said Monday that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are “preferred” and that Canadians should weigh the risks of waiting for one of them before deciding whether to take a more immediate jab of either of the other two approved for use in Canada.

The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines have been linked to a new and extremely rare blood-clotting syndrome.

NACI’s advice appears to contradict Health Canada’s long-standing recommendation that the best vaccine is the first one available.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday voiced support for the AstraZeneca vaccine and urged Canadians to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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  NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 6, 2021 Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Devan Dubnyk and Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov.Calgary – TBA (previously Josh Leivo)

Ontario COVID-19 news

Ontario reported 2,941 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Toronto again reported the most cases, with 924 people testing positive, followed by Peel (565 cases), York (254 cases), Durham (171 cases) and Hamilton (149 cases).

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination in Ottawa

Updated information on COVID-19 testing: www.ottawatestingupdate.ca/

Ontario vaccination portal: covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine

Provincial call centre: 1-888-999-6488. The Vaccine Information Line is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is capable of providing assistance in 300 languages.

Vaccine eligibility in Ottawa: Vaccine eligibility screening tool, from Ottawa Public Health https://vers.powerappsportals.com/en-US/

To find a pharmacy vaccine: Eligible adults aged 40 and over who are interested in getting vaccinated via pharmacy can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating location. Contact the pharmacy directly to ask if they’re offering appointments, walk-in vaccination or both.

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