Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

Children as young as five could get their first Covid shot before Christmas as Pfizer prepares to ask regulators to approve the vaccine for younger children

  • There are around 2.1 million children in the age group of five to 11 in Australia
  • The country has enough vaccine supplies to dose them immediately
  • Children aged 12-15 years are already eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19


Santa can come early for some Australian families, with children as young as five possibly in line to get a Covid vaccination before Christmas.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer hopes to soon present its case to Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, to allow young children to be vaccinated during the summer.

The company is submitting a ‘provisional provision’ application to the TGA, which it hopes will lead to a formal offer that the vaccine can be quickly detected in children aged five to 11 years.

Children aged 12 to 15 are already eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Australia

Children aged 12 to 15 are already eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Australia

In such a proposal, Pfizer should show the benefits of having children shot outweigh possible side effects.

Professor Allen Cheng, co-chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, said young children could be vaccinated within a few weeks but that approval was not guaranteed.

‘When we think of 80-year-olds where the danger to Covid is really obvious, [about] one third of people die, ‘he told the Sydney Moring Herald.

‘When we look at children who rarely go to the hospital and usually do not die of Covid, then that’s a different equation.’

Children aged five to 11 may be eligible for vaccination before the end of the year

Children aged five to 11 may be eligible for vaccination before the end of the year

Health Minister Greg Hunt said there were around 2.1 million children in the age group of five to 11 in Australia and there was sufficient supply to double dose them immediately.

‘The timing is with Pfizer, they are already working with TGA, TGA will prioritize this. It’s a matter for them when, ‘he said.

‘This is up to an independent company and an independent regulator. The government has paved the way for this to happen as soon as possible. ‘

Children aged 12 to 15 are already eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Australia. ATAGI now recommends two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for all children in that age group.

Children who needed intensive care or died of Covid-19 in other countries such as the UK usually had Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or major medical problems involving the heart, lungs or immune system.

Robert Booy, a pediatrician for infectious diseases at the University of Sydney, said many doctors were careful to give a Covid-19 vaccine to younger children without such health problems.

He said Australia should wait for data from the US where younger children could start getting vaccinated in the coming weeks.

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