Education minister urges Canada to be leader in vaccine rollout for children
Ontario’s education minister is calling on Ottawa to provide COVID-19 vaccines for children. His call comes as the province records more than 2,000 new cases a day for the fourth straight day.
Ontario hasn’t seen these numbers since January. Officials reported that weekend numbers on both days were around the 2,450 mark.
The ministry of health said most of the new cases were found in Toronto and the Peel Region to the city’s west. Also, more than 100 of the new cases were of variants of concern.
Now Ontario’s education minister, Stephen Lecce, said he wants vaccines for students and children as soon as they’re approved by Health Canada. Lecce said there are clinical trials underway to assess the safety and efficacy of vaccines in children.
"And I just want to make sure that the feds have visibility on this, that they are planning for this, that they are taking action right now," Lecce said, "so that we lead and we procure and we deliver these vaccines that are critical to the recovery, so that we can really defeat this pandemic and put it behind us."
Lecce said it is important that Canada looks ahead and applies the lessons learned so far to make sure there is what he called a robust supply of vaccines from several pharmaceutical companies.
Last week, drug maker Moderna said it wants to recruit Canadian children aged six months to 12 years for trials of its COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca are also set to run trials for teenagers, as well as younger age groups.
There are about 30 outbreaks of the coronavirus at schools in Ontario.