The ‘question ahead’ for ATAGI now that the medical regulator has approved Pfizer for children
Australia’s health regulator will today officially approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt this morning told Sunrise the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) made a decision on giving the vaccine to kids overnight.
It’s now the job of the nation’s expert immunisation panel to give its approval and consider how best to include children over 12 in the vaccine rollout.
If the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation gives its approval, Mr Hunt says “immunocompromised and kids with underlying medical conditions [will be] immediately added to the phase 1B [and] able to access Pfizer”.
Leading immunisation expert, Associate Professor Margie Danchin, says the “question ahead now for ATAGI is exactly which children should be vaccinated”.
In the UK, children with underlying medical conditions, and children who live with people who are at high risk, are being vaccinated first.
Meanwhile, the US and Canada, all children aged 12 to 18 are eligible for vaccination.
Associate Professor Danchin says the priority in Australia is still vaccinating older Australians, who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, but the Delta variant of the virus means the need to vaccinate children is more urgent than it was with other strains.
“With the Delta variant the decision to vaccinate children has definitely been brought forward,” she said.
Press PLAY below to hear more of Associate Professor Danchin’s thoughts on vaccinating kids