Quebec will not be able to count on the vaccination of 5 to 12 year olds to fight the fourth wave. Pfizer will seek authorization this week to administer its vaccine to children, but there is still a long way to go before inoculation in primary schools.
Pfizer-BioNTech will apply “within days” for authorization to market a vaccine against COVID-19 for children, US media reported this morning. The pharmaceutical company is expected to submit the same request to Canadian authorities in the following days.
Then, Health Canada will need “two to four weeks” to analyze the manufacturer’s data, estimates microbiologist-infectious disease specialist Caroline Quach-Thanh. ” [Ça nous amène à] at the end of October. After that, the time it takes for them to come out with the recommendations, for the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the provinces to make their recommendations… I have the impression that mid-November or December, that’s where we’re going to have news. “
The effectiveness of the vaccine is not difficult to prove at this stage of the vaccination campaign, indicates Dr. Gaston De Serres, member of the Committee on immunization of Quebec. Rather, the challenge is to find an adequate dosage and to guarantee a “hypersafe” product.
Considering that 2300 children were vaccinated during the Pfizer study, “if what we are looking for is a health problem that could happen to one in 5000 children, it is sure that there will be no clear answer, ”he weighs. What is more, the disease causes few serious problems in this age group. The side effects associated with vaccines must therefore be even lower than for adults “for the benefit / risk ratio to continue to be positive”.
Dr. De Serres assures us, however, that Health Canada “will do its utmost” to ensure that the approval of a vaccine intended for school-aged children is done as quickly as possible.
Nearly a third of infections during the fourth wave of contaminations affect Quebecers under the age of 20, according to government data.
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