Nunavut preparing for approval of COVID-19 vaccine for kids

Health Department awaiting green light from Ottawa, following promising results from Pfizer-BioNTech

The Nunavut Department of Health announced this week that some people may be eligible to receive a third dose of a vaccine against COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Nunavut’s health officials are getting ready to vaccinate children under 12 against COVID-19 as soon as Health Canada gives the go-ahead.

The Health Department gave the update to Nunatsiaq News this week after Pfizer-BioNTech announced its mRNA vaccine, recently renamed Comirnaty, is showing signs it’s safe and effective for children in the five to 11 age group, according to a news release from the pharmaceutical company.

The company is planning to submit data from its research to regulatory bodies around the world for authorization before winter.

“Planning and discussions regarding administering of the vaccine to expanded eligible populations is underway in preparation of approval by the Government of Canada,” said Chris Puglia, a spokesperson for the Department of Health.

This could represent a sizeable jump in the territory’s immunization rate. Nunavut has a large youth population, with nearly a third of its inhabitants under 14, according to Statistics Canada.

A statement from Health Canada says even younger children could become eligible soon. The department “anticipates vaccine manufacturers to provide data in children in the coming months,” including research for children as young as six months.

Pfizer has not yet published a full study of its research, but one University of Ottawa epidemiologist said he’s impressed with the early data he’s seen, and that’s good news for getting out of the pandemic.

“You don’t get [to herd immunity] in Canada unless you start vaccinating children under 12,” said Raywat Deonandan said in an interview.

Once the vaccine is approved for the under-12 age group, Deonandan says some jurisdictions might make it mandatory for children to attend school or daycare. With that in mind, he says it’s important to address the hesitancy parents may feel about vaccinating their younger children.

“This particular vaccine seems to trigger people in a strange way because it’s wrapped in conspiracy theories and because people have observed its development in real time,” he said.

“It is highly, highly safe.”

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by best news on

    Will be good to have the younger people vaccinated. They are our future and they live with or visit elders

    • Posted by Skeptical Eskimo 819 on

      ?? I hope you don’t mean that. Have you see people in Australia? They are so against the jab.

  2. Posted by S on

    “This particular vaccine seems to trigger people in a strange way because it’s wrapped in conspiracy theories and because people have observed its development in real time. It is highly, highly safe” said University of Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan

    Those are not the the words of a credible scientist; an epidemiologist is not a pharmocologist.

    But hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of politics and the media that drives it

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      Epidemiology is the study of the frequency, pattern, causes and risk factors of health problems in a specific population.
      Pharmacology is the scientific study of the effects of drugs and chemicals on living organisms where a drug can be broadly defined as any chemical substance,natural or synthetic, which affects a biological system.
      Seems to me that either an epidemiologist or a pharmacologist would be able to comment about the coronavirus vaccines provided that this was their area of study.
      The fact is that vaccines are very very safe, The coronavirus has infected at least 231,369.817 people and is the primary cause of death of 4,741,319 people.
      Meanwhile 6.060,552,172 doses of vaccine have been administered. There isn’t a database of the number of people who have died from the vaccine because it is so very rare.
      Look at any of the provincial news reports or provincial coronavirus sites and the vast majority of people in hospital and in the ICU have not been vaccinated.
      Using just the smallest bit of logic tells you that it is much safer to be fully vaccinated.
      If you are an adult (12+) and haven’t yet been vaccinated make an appointment to talk to your doctor or nurse. They can explain the benefits of vaccination and how very rare it is to see any adverse effects.

  3. Posted by Peter on

    Excellent news! This will help protect our kids, thank god for vaccines!

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      You might want to thank science for the vaccine.
      I don’t think that any of the holy books of the worlds great religions contained instructions on making a mRNA vaccine. Maybe I just missed it.

      • Posted by Peter on

        Thank god for science!

        • Posted by Pain In The Groen on

          Thank Science for God!

  4. Posted by Uvanga a mother on

    Great news for me as a mother, I am getting worried an VAXI protester will infect my children in public places. I will do everything I can or need to, to protect them, us and you.


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