Canada approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children

Canada has approved the use of the Moderna Spikevax (50 mcg) Covid-19 vaccine in children 6 to 11 years of age.

Health Canada said in a statement that this is the second Covid-19 vaccine authorised in Canada for use in this younger age group, Xinhua news agency reported.

Previously Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine was approved for children 5 to 11 years old.

Health Canada said the vaccine was initially authorized for use in people 18 years of age and older on December 23, 2020, and subsequently authorized for children 12 to 17 years of age on August 27, 2021.

Health Canada has authorised a primary two-dose regimen of 50 micrograms per dose to be administered four weeks apart. This is half of the 100 micrograms primary two-dose regimen authorized for people 12 years of age and older.

Clinical trial showed that the immune response in children 6 to 11 years of age was comparable to the immune response in people 18 to 25 years of age, supporting the vaccine efficacy in this younger age group. No serious adverse events were observed during the trial, Health Canada said.

Currently Health Canada has approved two Covid-19 vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, for youth (12 to 17 years old) and six for adults (aged 18 and over), including AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, Novavax and Medicago.

The plant-based Medicago is the first made-in-Canada vaccine, however according to a guidance document dated March 2, 2022 on the WHO website, it is listed as “not accepted” which means it could only be used in Canada.

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