From today, children across Australia aged between five and 11 are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as the next phase of the immunisation program kicks into gear.
Children will be able to receive two doses of the the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks apart as recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). The dose administered is one-third of the dose given to people aged 12 and older.
Despite concerns about appointment availability, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt assured there will be enough vaccine supply for children.
“We have approximately two million doses that are available over the course of the coming weeks,” Hunt said.
“And then that will be supplemented by an additional million before January 3 for a population of 2.3 million children.”
“We want to encourage all parents to bring their children forward over the period between now and the end of January, to protect them and to help protect the community with the vaccinations.”
According to SA Health, children with pre-existing conditions are at greater risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including children with type 1 diabetes, obesity, a history of prematurity, heart disease, immunocompromising conditions, and complex and chronic illnesses.
As it stands, more than 73 per cent of children between 12 to 15 years old have been fully vaccinated. To date, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for use for children aged between five to 11.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is also currently evaluating an application from Moderna for its COVID-19 vaccine to be used in Australia for children aged six to 11. The government has already put supply deals in place with the pharmaceutical giant should it be approved by the TGA and recommended by ATAGI.
Bookings can be made using the Vaccine Clinic Finder.
Updated at 10.43am AEDT on 10 January 2022.
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