COVID-19: Health Canada authorizes a first vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years

Health Canada on Wednesday authorized the administration of Moderna's Spikevax vaccine against COVID-19 for children between the ages of six months and five years, a first in the country.

COVID-19: Health Canada authorizes a first vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years

Health Canada on Wednesday authorized the administration of Moderna's Spikevax vaccine against COVID-19 for children between the ages of six months and five years, a first in the country.

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"The clinical trial showed that the immune response to the Spikevax vaccine in children 6 months to 5 years old was comparable to that seen in people 18 to 25 years old in a previous study," the federal ministry said in a statement. a statement on Thursday.

Children in this age group can be vaccinated with a primary series of two doses of 25 micrograms each, with four weeks apart.

“This is equivalent to half the authorized dose for children aged 6 to 11 and a quarter of the authorized dose for people over 12 years old,” a statement explained.

The decision aligns with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), an independent panel of experts, which released a document Thursday morning backing up its findings.

- Listen to Alexandre Dubé's interview with Diane Lamarre on QUB radio:

However, NACI has suggested a minimum period of eight weeks between the administration of the first and second vaccines for children who are not immunocompromised, while Health Canada considers four weeks to be sufficient.

“Moderately to severely immunocompromised” children will need to receive their second dose more quickly, within a window of four to eight weeks after their first.

Note that this is a “discretionary” recommendation, as opposed to a “strong recommendation”.

“As usual, Quebec will await the recommendations of the Quebec Immunization Committee (CIQ) and we will follow their recommendations,” said the office of Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé.

The vaccine should not be routinely administered on the same day as other vaccines, NACI also recommends.

Health Canada points out that the studies on the effectiveness of this vaccine were carried out when the Omicron variant was predominant in North America.

The United States approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer for this age group on June 18.

The pharmaceutical Pfizer has submitted an application for approval to Health Canada. This is still under review by government scientists.

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