Health Canada today approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 – confirmed in a statement. Vaccination for children is the next step in bringing provinces and the whole country closer to being completely immunized.
Saskatchewan’s healthcare professionals are weighing in on the recent approval announcement.
COVID-19: Implement vaccination for children aged 5-11 to Saskatchewan
“Plan your child to get vaccinated,” says Saskatchewan Chief Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab. “It is the most important long-term strategy for us to get out of the current 5th outbreak and come out of the pandemic as a province and a country.”
When a Saskatoon pediatrician, Dr Ayisha Kurji, first heard about rolling out a vaccine for children, she said she was excited, not only as a pediatrician but and as a mother.
Dr Kurji said: “This is the age where my children belong, so I am extremely excited about it. “[There’s] very relieved because it just means it’s an extra layer of protection for them. “
She added that all children have been doing very well during the pandemic, especially in terms of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing. There will still be people who worry about vaccines for children, and Dr. Kurji says it’s important for parents to keep in mind not only to protect your child, but others as well.
“Knowing that also helps us protect the people we see who are still under the age of 5 who can’t get vaccinated,” she said.
It means the extra level of anxiety goes away, she added.
But approving vaccines for children may not be to everyone’s will. Healthcare professionals are listening to concerns from parents about vaccines.
Canadian Medical Association (CMA) President Dr. Katharine Smart says the biggest question she hears from parents is “are vaccines safe?”
“What we know so far about that is largely what we learned mainly in the 12-17 age group. Most children experience very minor side effects,” she says. “We will soon learn more about [5-11] age group, but what we know so far from the data we have, just over 3,000 children, is that they mostly see only minor side effects. “
She adds that some of those minor side effects, including arm pain, fatigue, headache and fever, are short-lived.
Health Canada approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 on Friday: sources
“It’s something we’re all definitely watching and watching,” said Dr Smart. “I think it would be good for parents to continue taking their questions to their healthcare provider.”
COVID-19 Update: Vaccines for Children
According to a statement from Health Canada, in addition to the approval, a shipment of pediatric dosages will be made shortly thereafter. This comes two days after Health Canada received a submission from Moderna approving their vaccine for children 6-11 years old.
Health Canada announced it will publish a variety of documents related to this decision, including a high-level summary of the evidence the agency has reviewed. Health Canada and Public Health Canada will continue to closely monitor the safety of this vaccine, and will take action if any safety concerns are identified.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.