Health Canada’s announcement today of its approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 is an important step in the reduction of the risk of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, disability and death.
As we all look ahead to the end of the pandemic, the CMA reminds Canadians of the considerable work remaining to mitigate outbreaks namely, addressing misinformation and vaccine hesitancy. Any return to “normal” will require collective adherence to all public health measures.
We salute the work that has been done by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to thoroughly review the science behind the vaccine for this age group. We know that many parents, and others, will have questions about the vaccine. The CMA continues to align with NACI recommendations and urge Canadians to seek medical information and advice from the most trusted source of this information—health professionals.
Given the polarization seen around vaccine hesitancy, we are concerned that this latest announcement will result in a further escalation of violent threats and harassment against health workers. To ensure that this is not a catalyst for a small minority to escalate their actions further, we are calling on governments to ensure the safety of health workers as well as their patients and those seeking care.
Today with Canadian children and their families, we celebrate science.
Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA President