Vaccines for children under 12 could come with the return to school
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor-Essex students will return to class in less than six weeks and efforts are going strong to get as many students vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Ontario’s top doctor confirmed Wednesday the province is already working on a plan to administer the vaccines to children, if and when they are approved for that age group.
“We know that the trials are finishing up, that they’ll have the results to decision-makers for in the US and Canada in the early fall, and that’s a potential licensure under the emergency use agreement for late fall, early winter,” says Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario chief medical officer of health.
Both Pfizer and Moderna started testing their COVID-19 vaccines in children aged six months to 11 years back in March, and Moderna announced Tuesday it plans to expand the size of those trials.
Patricia Gauthier from Moderna Canada says the good news is that the kids COVID-19 study will have sites in Canada, so there will be Canadian children included in this study.
The results from both studies are expected to be published at the end of the summer, or in the early fall.
Health Canada tells CTV News, “the Department is open to reviewing manufacturers’ submissions and will only issue a decision following a thorough scientific review of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in this younger age group.”
Experts say vaccinating kids could also help achieve herd immunity more broadly since the Delta variant could require as much as 90 per cent of the population to be vaccinated to stop the spread.
Although kids under 12 will likely return to class in September without access to COVID-19 vaccines, that protection could come within just a few months of the start of school.