Quebec immunization committee OKs use of Pfizer vaccine in youth 12 to 17
MONTREAL -- In more good news on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Quebec’s immunization committee formally recommended vaccinating younger teens with Pfizer-BioNTech doses.
In a notice published Tuesday on the Comité sur l’immunisation du Québec (CIQ) website, the body gave the green light to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to youth 12 to 17 years old following promising results from Phase 3 clinical trials.
"As 12-15 year olds as well as many 16-17 year olds find themselves in a school environment, it might be appropriate to take advantage of this context to better reach them," the notice reads.
The notice stated there were no major safety issues related to the vaccine in youth who participated in the trial, however, it noted youth experienced a fever after getting vaccinated at a higher rate than adults.
It stated 10 per cent of youth experienced a fever after the first dose, and 20 per cent had feverish symptoms afer the second shot. In clinical trials with adults who received both doses, those percentages were 4 and 16 per cent, respecitvely.
Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine in young teens on May 5, but Quebec had been waiting for the go-ahead from the committee.
Provincial officials will hold a press conference on Thursday to unveil the roll-out plan for vaccinating youth 12 to 17 years old, which could start as early as late May. Health minister Christian Dube also said the goal is to have youth receive their second dose by the end of August in time for the beginning of the next school year.
On Tuesday, Premier Francois Legault announced the curfew will be lifted in all of Quebec on May 28 and more public health restrictions will be eased gradually in three phases as the mass vaccination campaign is progressing better than expected.