Health Canada has received Moderna’s request for a pediatric COVID 19 vaccine

The ministry is expected to announce its decision later this week or next week. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA – Following a Pfizer-BioNTech initiative, Health Canada received a request from Moderna to allow use of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 to 11, a group that is still not eligible for vaccination in Canada.

The federal ministry said in a statement that, as with all COVID-19 vaccines, it will prioritize review of this application “without sacrificing the high scientific standards of safety, efficacy and quality in place.”

Health Canada specifies that the Moderna vaccine will only be allowed for children “if an independent and comprehensive scientific review of the data presented” confirms that the benefits outweigh the risks in this age group.

The Health Canada assessment will include a detailed review of Moderna’s clinical trial results, “as well as other cutting-edge data and information on the effects of COVID-19 and variables of concern on children’s health in Canada.”

Health Canada is already reviewing Pfizer-BioNTech’s application, which was submitted a month ago, to approve its vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The ministry is expected to announce its decision later this week or next week.

Health Canada says it is monitoring the deployment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children in the United States, where it was approved for use earlier this month.

The CEO of Moderna Canada has argued that interim data from its pediatric vaccine shows a strong safety profile as well as a strong immune response.

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