Canada’s national vaccine advisory panel is now recommending Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for anyone aged 12 and up, according to the country’s chief public health officer, backing up recent provincial efforts to start vaccinating younger Canadians.
Dr. Theresa Tam announced an update Tuesday from federal officials, noting that the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) now recommends a standard two-dose vaccination schedule of the Pfizer shot for any eligible Canadians between 12 and 18, following an earlier Health Canada authorization for younger teens.
Last week, bookings in Manitoba hit a record high as the province opened up eligibility to anyone aged 12 and up, Ontario plans to open up vaccinations to youth under 18 by the end of the month, while other regions including Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador are aiming to vaccinate teens before the current school year ends.
At the time, Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada, called the new authorization “a significant milestone in Canada’s fight against the pandemic” and said it could help allow young people to safely return to school and extracurricular activities.
According to federal data cited by Sharma, up to 20 percent of the COVID-19 cases reported in Canada have been among people under 19.
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