The Northwest Territories’ premier and health minister have praised Health Canada’s decision to approve the Covid-19 vaccine for children.

On Friday, Health Canada announced its approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11. According to the department’s website, a clinical trial found that the vaccine was about 91 per cent effective at preventing the virus in this age group, with no serious side effects reported.

The same day, Premier Caroline Cochrane and Minister of Health and Social Services Julie Green released a joint statement praising the approval as an important step in fighting the virus.

“Choosing to get our kids vaccinated is an effective way to protect them and limit the spread of Covid-19 in schools and communities, and make the Northwest Territories safer for everyone,” the statement reads. “It is one thing we can all do to help the whole territory get back to doing the things we love together.”

“Our children have had to be so resilient throughout this pandemic. Now this vaccine offers them a chance to have stability and hope.”

As of Friday, the Northwest Territories had just over 2,000 cumulative Covid-19 cases, including 114 active cases, and 12 deaths. Eighty-one per cent of residents 12 and over are fully vaccinated and 86 per cent are at least partially vaccinated.

The NTHSSA has yet to receive the children’s version of vaccine but the NTHSSA website indicates it expects delivery before the end of November.

Once that happens, the health authority says people may then schedule vaccine appointments for their children between five and 11 years old.

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