British Columbia is “actively preparing” to provide the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children aged six to 11, if and when it receives Health Canada approval.
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday there is optimism around approvals as phase two/three studies are being finished right now.
The information from the studies will be part of data package submission going in over the next few weeks on how well the vaccines work and how safe they are, Henry said.
Study finds Pfizer vaccine safe and effective for children 5 to 11 years-old
“I think that’s very good news,” she added.
“That gives us just one more tool to be able to protect younger children against this virus.”
But Henry was reluctant to put a timeline on when children may be eligible for the shot. In a previous statement, Henry has pointed anywhere to the fall to the end of 2021 as to when children may be eligible in B.C.
Pfizer said Monday its research shows its product works for children aged five to 11 and that it will also seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon.
But Henry said Tuesday they are looking at children between six and 11 being eligible for the vaccine.
Pfizer says their vaccine works for children 5-11
Health Canada says several studies on children are underway by various COVID-19 vaccine makers, and that it “anticipates vaccine manufacturers to provide data in children in the coming months.”
Pfizer studied a lower dose of its two-dose vaccine in more than 2,200 kindergartners and elementary school-aged kids, mostly in the United States and Europe.
Preparing the vaccine at a lower dose could have some logistical challenges.
“We do know that there may be some delays before the manufacturing process,” Henry said.
“This means the vaccine will be available to children in BC, but we are preparing so that we’re ready to offer it and we have all of the information that parents will need to make those decisions about whether their children should be immunized, and I think this will be very important, especially as we are into the school year again.”
–with files from the Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.