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COVID-19 Vaccine Certified for Use in Children Aged 5 to 11 in Canada

Published: November 19, 2021
RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA - SEPT. 25: A child wearing a protective face mask holds a paper cup filled with rolled gelato at Richmond Night Market on Sept. 25, 2021 in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. The Richmond Night Market reopened after being closed last year due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. (Image: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

On Nov. 19, Health Canada announced the authorization for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine in children five to 11 years of age.

In a statement published to a government of Canada website authorities stated that, “This is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for use in this age group and marks a major milestone in Canada’s fight against COVID-19.”

Health Canada received an application from Pfizer-BioNTech for authorization for use of its vaccine in children on Oct. 18. It took Health Canada just over a month to come to its decision.

Health authorities assert that after a scientific review of the evidence it was determined that the benefits of this vaccine for children between the age of five and 11 years outweigh the risks. 

Children will be administered a lower dose of the vaccine than adults at 30 micrograms and will be subjected to a two-dose regimen administered three weeks apart. 

Citing a clinical trial, Health Canada stated on their website that the immune response in children 5 to 11 years of age was comparable to the immune response in people 16 to 25 years of age. 

Health Canada is claiming that the vaccine is 90.7 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children and that no serious side effects were identified. 

Do children need a COVID-19 vaccine?

A growing number of voices are questioning whether or not children do indeed need to be inoculated against COVID-19 and have raised questions concerning the immediate and long-term side effects the vaccine could have on children.

Last month, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel member, Dr. Eric Rubin said, “We’re never gonna learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it.” His comment was widely reported and forced the FDA to concede that it doesn’t know the long-term risks to children. 

Despite Dr. Rubin’s comment the panel decided unanimously, with one abstention, in favor of formally recommending Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children under an emergency use authorization. 

Some question why children need to be inoculated when severe outcomes due to the COVID-19 virus are extremely rare in children, so rare that many characterize the risk to children as negligible, meaning it’s so rare that it is hard to quantify. 

The Mayo-clinic, on its website, states, “Children of all ages can become ill with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). But most kids who are infected typically don’t become as sick as adults and some might not show any symptoms at all,” adding that, “While all children are capable of getting the virus that causes COVID-19, they don’t become sick as often as adults. Most children have mild symptoms or no symptoms.” 

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – APRIL 26: Protesters hold banners and chant during a rally on April 26, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada. Demonstrators were protesting Canadian government measures intended to defend against the COVID-19 virus. (Image: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

Deaths from COVID-19 in children are incredibly rare 

“In a series of preprints published on medRxiv, a team of researchers picked through all hospital admission and deaths reported for people younger than 18 in England. The studies found that COIVD-19 caused 25 deaths in that age group between March 2020 and February 2021,” Nature reported. 

“Approximately half the deaths reported were in individuals with an underlying complex disability with high health-care needs, such as tube feeding or assistance with breathing.”

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Dr. Robert Malone, a pioneer of mRNA technology is a vocal opponent against inoculating children with a COVID-19 vaccine. 

In a recent interview Malone asserted that , “The unfortunate truth is that we’re gonna have to have many children die before people wake up here.”

Health Canada has put in place terms and conditions requiring Pfizer-BioNTech to continue providing information to Health Canada on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in the younger group. 

In Canada, health authorities state that they will “closely monitor the safety of this vaccine, and will take action if any safety concerns are identified.”