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Covid: Canada approves Pfizer vaccine for children over 12

Canada is the second country to authorise the Pfizer jab for children aged 12 to 15 (Picture:Reuters/Getty)

Canada has authorised the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15.

The country’s health ministry made the decision based on data from phase three clinical trials on children that age.

Dr Supriya Sharma, an adviser at the ministry, said the Pfizer vaccine was safe and effective in the younger age group.

‘We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,’ she told reporters.

She added that while most children do not experience serious illness from Covid, a vaccine can work to protect friends and family who may be at higher risk of complications.

‘It will also support the return to a more normal life for our children, who have had such a hard time over the past year,’ Dr Sharma said.

Around 20% of Canada’s 1.2 million cases of coronavirus have been reported in people under the age of 19.

Canada has already authorised the use of the Pfizer vaccine in people over 16.

The state of Alberta, which has the highest rate of the virus in the country, said it would offer vaccines to those over 12 from Monday.

Canadian health officials say the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in the younger age group (Picture: Reuters)

A statement from Canadian health officials initially said it was the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer jab for children.

However, a Canadian representative for Pfizer later said Algeria permitted use of the vaccine for this age group in April.

The US. Food and Drug Administration is expected to take a similar step ‘very soon,’ health officials said.

In March, Pfizer said initial results from trials of its vaccine in 12 to 15 year olds showed 100% efficacy and a strong immune response.

The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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