TORONTO — Canada will receive 2.9 million doses of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine shortly after its approval by Health Canada for the five to 11 age group.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the deal between Pfizer and the federal government at a press conference with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday.
The deliveries provided will be enough to supply the country with a first dose for every eligible Canadian child, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said.
Anand said in an emailed statement her office has been working closely with Pfizer to monitor the timing of its submission of data to Health Canada for review so that they could co-ordinate deliveries.
“Based on this work, Pfizer has agreed to an accelerated delivery schedule of its pediatric vaccine once approved,” the statement reads.
Anand said Canada has enough syringes and other supplies necessary to administer the pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, and that delivery of second doses will be “driven by the rapidity of the roll-out and administration of first doses.”
Pfizer submitted clinical trial data for its child-sized dose to Health Canada at the beginning of October, and asked the organization for approval last week.
Thursday’s announcement marks the first COVID-19 vaccine in Canada that will be available for the five to 11 age group once approved by Health Canada.
In its submitted clinical trial data, Pfizer said results were comparable in the five to 11 age group to the study done with people aged 16 to 25. The doses for kids are about one-third of the size given to adults and teens aged 12 and up.
In a statement last week Health Canada said it would prioritize the review of Pfizer’s submission, but would “only authorize Comirnaty [the official name of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine] if the independent and thorough scientific review of all the data included in the submission showed that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the potential risks in this age group.”
Pfizer submitted its data for the same age group in the U.S. in late September, and the White House, anticipating its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, announced its rollout plan at a briefing Wednesday.
Some provinces like Alberta have already begun taking registrations from parents to inoculate their children in the future.
Pfizer has delivered more than 46 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Canada to date.
More than 83 per cent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated against the disease.
With files from the Canadian Press and CTVNews.ca writer Alexandra Mae Jones, CTV News Medical Correspondent Avis Favaro and Elizabeth St. Philip.
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