Health Canada expected to announce approval of Pfizer vaccine for kids on Friday: source

Health Canada will announce the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages five to 11 on Friday, CBC News has confirmed.

The news was first reported by the Toronto Star.

Officials are set to make the formal announcement and announce details of deliveries at a media briefing on Friday.

A source — who spoke on the condition they not be named because they weren’t authorized to speak on the record — said the government is talking to the company now to firm up delivery timelines.

The source said Canada can expect pediatric doses to arrive in the country in a matter of “days, not weeks.”

On Oct. 18, Health Canada received Pfizer-BioNTech’s submission for approval of its vaccine for children — which is delivered in doses one-third the size of those given to adults and kids 12 and older.

More than two million children in the U.S. have received their first doses already, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine last month.

Last week, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam told reporters that, for the second week in a row, “children under 12 continue to have the highest incidence rates across all age groups.”

Moderna asked Health Canada last week to approve its COVID-19 vaccine for children six to 11 years of age.

In a release, the department said it would “prioritize” its review of Moderna’s submission, as it does with all COVID-19 vaccines, “while maintaining its high scientific standards for safety, efficacy and quality.”

Pfizer’s COVID vaccine is now officially called Comirnaty while Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is marketed under the name Spikevax.  

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