Jabs for kids gets the green light as the TGA gives provisional approval for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11 – here is everything you need to know
- Covid-19 vaccines will be available to children as young as five in January
- TGA has given provisional approval for Pfizer jabs for children aged 5-11
- The dose will be just one-third of the adult dose and will have different branding
The Pfizer vaccine has been provisionally approved for use in Australian children aged 5-11, the Therapeutic Goods Administration confirmed on Saturday.
Jabs for children in that age group will now start to be rolled out by the government from January 10, subject to final approvals.
It is understood the first shipment is due to arrive in Australia before Christmas.
‘The Government expects to receive ATAGI’s recommendations on how to incorporate this safe and effective vaccine into Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program over the coming weeks,’ said federal health minister Greg Hunt.
The dose for children is just one-third of the adult dose, he said, and the children’s vaccine will be in different orange packaging from the adult purple or grey branding.
First and second doses for children will be given three weeks apart.
The Pfizer vaccine has been provisionally approved for use in children aged 5-11, the Therapeutic Goods Administration confirmed on Saturday (pictured, a stock image of child being vaccinated against disease)
Mr Hunt added: ‘Subject to advice from ATAGI, vaccinating the approximately 2.3 million children aged 5 to 11 in Australia will build on the rapid uptake of vaccination among children aged 12 to 15.
‘In just 11 weeks, more than 76.6 per cent of this group have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 67.5 per cent having completed their two-dose course of vaccination.
‘Across the country, 87.9 per cent of Australians aged 16 or over are fully vaccinated. More than 92.8 per cent have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.’
Mr Hunt earlier said Moderna booster doses for the general population are also on the cards, with confirmation by Christmas or sooner.
Jabs for children in that age group will now start to be rolled out by the government from January 10, subject to final approvals (pictured, a dose of Pfizer vaccine)
‘I’m due to get my booster in the next 10 days, so that might be a very good option to show that message,’ he said.
The TGA is also making progress on the protein-based Novavax vaccine and could issue a pre-Christmas approval for doses to become available in the new year.
ATAGI has decided not to shorten the six-month timeframe in which people are advised to get a booster, due to earlier boosters not being proven to provide extra protection against the Omicron variant.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said it is too early to determine whether the strain will result in increased hospitalisations or deaths, however there is evidence it is the same as, or milder than, current variants.