Canada allows Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 12-15 years old, reports third AstraZeneca-related death

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Empty vials of the Pfizer BioNTech Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine can be seen at the Michener Institute in Toronto, Canada on January 4, 2021. REUTERS / Carlos Osorio

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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) Canada approves the use of Pfizer Inc (NYSE 🙂 COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 12-15, the first doses approved for such young people, the Federal Department of Health announced on Wednesday.

The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to take a similar move “very soon,” according to US health officials.

Supriya Sharma, a senior advisor to Canada’s federal health ministry, said the Pfizer vaccine, made with German partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ :), was safe and effective in the younger age group.

“We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said to a meeting.

Separately, authorities reported the third death of a Canadian from a rare blood clot after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca (NASDAQ 🙂 PLC. The man, who was in his sixties, lived in the Atlantic province of New Brunswick (NYSE :).

Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief health officer, said the province will continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine. Alberta reported a coagulation death on Tuesday and Quebec announced one on April 27.

“There will be rare occurrences of thrombosis. However, the risks remain minimal compared to the risks, complications and potential consequences of COVID-19,” Russell told reporters.

Canada’s federal government has bought tens of millions of doses of vaccine, but critics complain that the pace of vaccination is lagging due to bottlenecks in the 10 provinces responsible for administering the doses.

Around 20% of the 1,249,950 cases of COVID-19 in Canada have been reported in those under the age of 19. Canada recorded 24,396 deaths.

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