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Canada Becomes First Country to Approve Pfizer Vaccine for Children

Kira Lundell, 16, who has special needs, receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Variety - the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley in Worcester, Pennsylvania, April 29, 2021.

Canada has become the first country to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, who said the move would help children return to a normal life.

Previously, the vaccine was approved only for those 16 and older.

The United States and the European Union are considering similar moves.

In March, the company released preliminary results of a study on the effectiveness of the vaccine on younger people. In the study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, there were no cases of infection among those given the vaccine.

Those who received the vaccine had similar side effects as their adult counterparts, including pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose.

More than 34% of Canadians have received at least one vaccine dose, The Associated Press reported.