Health Canada has approved the usage of the Moderna Covid-19 to inoculate children between 12 to 17 years. The Moderna vaccine had been approved for use in adults over the age of 18 in Canada since December 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.
After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, Health Canada said on Friday that it has determined that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing Covid-19 in youth aged 12 to 17. Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for the same age group in May.
Although children are less likely to become really ill from Covid-19, Health Canada highlighted the importance of having them vaccinated because they can still get sick, be infected and not have any symptoms, spread the virus to others, and may experience long-term effects if they do contract it.
Children and youth with underlying medical conditions may also have a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19, Health Canada said.
Health Canada data show that as of August 21, 76.9 per cent of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 63.57 per cent were fully vaccinated with two doses. There is still no Covid-19 vaccine approved for use in children under the age of 12 in Canada.
Health Canada said clinical trials are currently underway to determine the safety and effectiveness for those in this age group. Canada reported 1,461 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 1,484,144, with 26,881 deaths. Since July 30, Canada’s daily Covid-19 case counts have continued to increase.
The latest national seven-day average of 2,848 new cases reported daily on August 20-26 is an increase of 29 percent over the previous week, the Public Health Agency of Canada said on Friday.
After several weeks of rising case counts, the country’s national severity trends have begun to increase, primarily involving unvaccinated people. The latest data show that an average of 917 people with Covid-19 was being treated in hospitals each day on August 20-26, which is 39 percent higher than last week.
This includes, on average 340 people who were being treated in intensive care units (ICU), 29 percent more than last week and an average of nine deaths was reported daily in the same period.