Health Canada has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine for children, giving the green light to Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine.
Children ages five to 11 are now eligible to receive this vaccine, in a smaller dosage than has been offered to those ages 12 and above.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says there will be efforts taken to inform parents and encourage them to vaccinate their children.
“During this time, it is very important that we support children and their caregivers and making informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination while respecting their choices and pace of decision making,” Tam said.
The pediatric doses that will be offered to younger children will be one-third of what has been offered to those ages 12 and above. The first shipments will be enough to supply the country with a first dose for every eligible Canadian child, according to former procurement minister Anita Anand.
The rollout program has begun preparations in Alberta. Education Minister Adriana LaGrange issued a letter to parents on Wednesday, reiterating that “there is no legislation in Alberta that requires K-12 students to have specific vaccinations to attend in person schools, nor is Alberta Education considering mandating vaccines of any kind for students in the K-12 education system.” However, the government is still strongly encouraging youth to get the jab. Premier Jason Kenney tweeted that any school board that attempts to implement a vaccine requirement for children to attend class will not be permitted.
The UCP government's statement can be read below: