Canada could approve first COVID vaccine for youngest kids this month: feds

By The Canadian Press and Rebecca Johnstone

Federal officials say a COVID-19 vaccine for Canada’s youngest children could be approved as soon as this month.

Health Canada tweeted Tuesday that it expects to reach a decision by mid-July on whether to approve Moderna’s shot for children between six months and five years old.

Moderna has applied for its vaccine to be given in two doses, each a quarter of its adult dose, given about four weeks apart.

Dr. Brian Conway, medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre, says it’s essential to vaccinate this age group, adding it will mean almost everyone will be “part of the solution.”

“The vaccine efficacy in older age groups will wear off,” he said. “This will be an amazing time to update everyone’s vaccine status and to make sure that the youngest among us have had access to the vaccine … if a decision is made to go ahead in Canada.”

Conway says while younger populations may not get as seriously ill from COVID, vaccines could prevent the virus from spreading to more at-risk groups, and may help prevent long COVID symptoms.

The agency says it received a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech on June 23 for its vaccine for children between the ages of six months and four years old.

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A Health Canada spokesperson says regulators are still working out a timeline for their review of Pfizer-BioNTech’s application.

Canada has yet to authorize a vaccine for its nearly two million children under five.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine can be used on kids as young as five, and Moderna’s Spikevax shot has been approved for children ages six and up.

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