Canada approves first coronavirus vaccine for 6-month to 5-year-olds

Canada has given the green light for those aged 6 months to 5 years to receive coronavirus vaccinations, following a scientific review that found the vaccine "safe and effective," Health Canada announced Thursday.

"After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the department has determined that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 in children between 6 months and 5 years of age," the Public Health Agency of Canada tweeted.

The approval is for the Moderna vaccine and it is to be administered at a strength one-quarter the size of an adult dose.

Since it is the first time a coronavirus vaccine in Canada has been approved for the age group, Health Canada said it will keep a close eye on the reactions of those who are vaccinated. The agency ordered the manufacturer to provide constant details on the results of vaccinations.

All the reasoning and scientific findings that led to the approval for the group are laid out on the Health Canada website.

The agency said trials demonstrated that the vaccine administered to the group had similar results as the inoculation in 18-to 25-year-olds.

The approval means that about 2 million children are now eligible to be vaccinated. Two doses are to be administered one month apart, both at the quarter adult strength.

There can be mild side effects, Health Canada said, including pain, sleepiness and a loss of desire for food. Other side effects but not as common included a tolerable fever and swelling of the spot where the dose was administered, aching muscles and an upset stomach.

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