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Travellers make their way through Toronto Pearson International Airport on Oct 15, 2021.Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

Ontario is reporting 728 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday and Quebec says it has 815 new cases, one day after a children’s vaccine was authorized for use by Health Canada.

Ontario’s number is down slightly from the 793 reported on Friday, but up from the 666 the province reported a week ago. Ontario also topped 700 cases on Thursday with 711. The number of new cases in Quebec is significantly above the seven-day average of 665.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says 238 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 215 of them being either not fully vaccinated or with an unknown immunization status. The province also reported five more deaths linked to the virus.

Provincial data show almost 89 per cent of Ontarians 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 86 per cent have two.

In Quebec, there were three additional deaths due to the pandemic. Both hospitalizations and intensive care numbers remained unchanged at 201 and 45, respectively.

Quebec says 2,190 people received a first dose of vaccine and 3,524 received a second dose in the previous 24 hours. Approximately 91 per cent of the eligible population 12 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 88 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Health Canada approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids aged five to 11 on Friday after reviewing safety and efficacy data from the company for weeks.

Ontario is expected to receive its first doses of the pediatric vaccine on Sunday night, with public health units across the province gearing up to inoculate their five-to-11 population starting next week.

Most health units say they are awaiting more details before opening up vaccine appointments.

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