Today, May 5, Health Canada has authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 12 to 15 years of age.
This is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for use in children and marks a significant milestone in Canada’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Canada received an application to expand the indication of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine on April 16, 2021. The vaccine was initially authorized for use in people 16 years of age and older on December 9, 2020.
After completing a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the Department has determined that this vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 when used in children between 12 and 15 years of age.
Health Canada has placed terms and conditions on this authorization requiring Pfizer-BioNTech to continue providing information to Health Canada on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine in this younger age group to ensure its benefits continue to be demonstrated once it is on the market.
In keeping with the Department’s commitment to openness and transparency, Health Canada is publishing multiple documents related to this decision, including a high-level summary of the evidence it reviewed.
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will continue to closely monitor the safety of this vaccine and will take action if any safety concerns are identified.
Kenny says we have vaccines on our side
Premier Jason Kenney says the restrictions that were announced last night, are tough, but they are absolutely necessary to stop the spike of the third wave of COVID-19 and to ease the strain on our overburdened healthcare system.
“We must act to bend the curve down one last time,” Premier Kenney said. “The good news is that we have vaccines on our side.”
Premier Kenney said today that he is pleased to announce that by this coming Monday, every single Albertan over the age of 12 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is a major milestone in our vaccine rollout, and it comes right when we need it most,” Premier Kenney said. “When vaccines started trickling into Alberta just before Christmas, we had this day in mind.”
After offering vaccine to Albertans most at risk for severe outcomes, Alberta has now progressed to Phase 3, where everyone over the age of 12 can make an appointment to receive their first dose.
With this expansion, 3.8 million Albertans will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
To avoid overwhelming booking systems, appointments will be staggered in two age groups.
- Starting on May 6, every Albertan 30 or older (born in 1991 or earlier), can book an appointment through Alberta Health Services or a participating pharmacy.
- On May 10, appointment bookings will expand to include Albertans ages 12 to 29 (born in 2009 to 1992).
More than 1.66 million doses of vaccine have now been administered across the province. All vaccine appointments will continue to rely on the incoming supply to Alberta.
“This is a very exciting day for Alberta and it arrives right when we need it the most, Premier Kenney said. We are battling an extremely aggressive third wave of COVID-19 and we know that vaccines are our best weapon against it. By opening bookings to everybody over 12 years of age, we are taking a huge step towards stopping the spike and hopefully putting this pandemic behind us for good.”
All eligible Albertans will be able to book appointments to receive a mRNA vaccine with AHS online or through 811.
“We need every Albertan who is eligible to book their appointment and get immunized,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health said. “It may take time at first, but please be patient and book your appointment in the coming weeks. This is the most important thing you can do to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and your communities.”
Albertans can also book an appointment for these vaccines through participating pharmacies. To find the closest location to you with an earliest available booking date, check the list on Alberta Blue Cross.