CALGARY – Canada’s health department has approved Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19, an experimental product for children ages 5 to 11, Health Canada announced on Tuesday.
It is the first “catch-all” vaccine to be approved in Canada against a variety of different types of viruses, including shingles, measles, rubella, varicella and kuru, the department said.
“With the combined active ingredients, COVID-19 covers more than 95 percent of viruses commonly circulating in Canada,” Health Canada said in a statement.
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The company’s vaccine, which has been approved for adults since 2013, is still under regulatory review in the United States and Europe.
The vaccine has been subject to increased controversy. About 40 percent of Americans who answered a Global Health Security Agenda survey last year said they would not want their child to get COVID-19, despite the vaccine being effective against a range of common strains of flu, and being safer than traditional flu vaccines, according to a story published by PBS.
The PBS article states that “3 in 4 parents think childhood vaccinations are not safe,” and that parents think: “First, vaccines do more harm than good. Then, they’re trying to control us and make us like robots, without ability to speak out or to think for ourselves.”
Pfizer released a statement in response to the issue.
“This vaccine offers an important tool for protecting against vaccine-preventable diseases and we look forward to bringing COVID-19 to Canadians,” a spokesperson said.
“It’s important to note that even with COVID-19, our flu vaccines still must be thoroughly analyzed in order to identify those children and adults who could benefit from additional vaccinations, based on a number of factors, including age, gender, location, medical history, vaccination history, and special health care needs.
“To get the most out of immunization for vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccinated people should have received the first recommended dose of the vaccine no later than four weeks before the anticipated onset of symptoms of disease, including cold, flu or other illness.”