Health Canada has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11, the department announced Friday. The announcement means that elementary school children will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Previously, only kids aged 12 and up were eligible.
The vaccine will require two doses of 10 micrograms each for kids aged five to 11 — one-third of the dose for adults. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending that these two doses be spaced eight weeks apart.
Canada will begin receiving shipments of the doses for young children on Sunday, Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi announced Friday. All of the 2.9 million doses ordered will be received by the end of the week. This will be enough vaccine to provide first doses for all eligible children in the country, she said.
Eleven-year-olds should receive the smaller pediatric dose of vaccine, NACI said. But, if they turn 12 in between receiving their first and second dose, the second dose can be the adult formulation. Children will be considered fully vaccinated if they have had two doses of either formulation or one of each.
Pfizer had submitted its trial data to Health Canada on Oct. 1 for evaluation, and the full submission for approval on Oct. 18.
Regardless of the coming vaccine, B.C.’s top doctor says face masks are “more important than ever” heading into the winter season and people should wear ones with layers.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters in a press briefing Tuesday (Nov. 16) that the Public Health Agency of Canada has released some updated information about face masks and layers of protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“If you choose to wear a non-medical mask then we want to make sure that you’re wearing one that has the number of layers of protection, that it fits snugly around your nose, and that it has at least three layers and that can include a filter layer in the middle, and that it’s made up of tightly-woven fabric,” she explained.
Wearing a face mask that fits comfortably and correctly is most important, underscored Henry. But while non-medical masks are adequate for most people, she noted that others may want to consider wearing medical ones.