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A vaccination booster shot clinic on Oct. 1, 2021, in San Rafael, California. COVID-19 vaccine maker Pfizer says it could make its formal submission for authorization to use its shot in children in Canada later in October.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pfizer says it has submitted preliminary research to Health Canada on the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged five to 11.

The drugmaker says it has provided the initial trial data to the federal department for review as it prepares to make a formal submission seeking authorization to use the product in children.

Pfizer says that formal submission could come later this month.

The two-shot Pfizer vaccine, developed in partnership with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, is currently available for those aged 12 and older.

The company is testing a lower dose of the shots in children.

Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that researchers found the vaccine antibody responses in children were just as strong as those found in teenagers and young adults getting regular-strength doses. Health Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Daily case reports

Ontario is reporting 704 cases of COVID-19 Saturday along with seven more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 506 of the new cases are in people who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown immunization status. She says 198 of the latest infections are among fully vaccinated people.

Elliott says 274 patients are hospitalized because of COVID-19, with 162 in intensive care because of the virus.

That number includes 110 people on ventilators.

The ministry says 86.3 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 81.2 per cent are fully immunized with two shots.

Quebec is reporting 640 additional cases of COVID-19 Saturday and five more deaths due to the pandemic.

Overall hospitalizations declined by nine to 301, while the number of people in intensive care dropped by one to 83.

The vast majority of cases are due to the contagious Delta variant, which accounted for 86.9 per cent of infections sequenced between Sept. 12 and Sept. 18.

Health workers administered more than 13,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses since the last update, including 4,459 first shots.

About 89 per cent of Quebec’s eligible population 12 and over have received one shot of vaccine, and 84 per cent have received two doses.

The Quebec government says unvaccinated individuals are 7.9 per cent more likely to become infected and 30 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, compared to a person who is fully vaccinated.