Sumary of Vaccinating children in Australia would help protect against Covid but high-risk groups first, experts say:
- Public health experts say vaccinating children against Covid-19 will be important for protecting Australians against the Delta variant, but that high-risk populations must take priority.
- On Monday, the New South Wales government indicated the state would consider vaccinating young people as part of its efforts to control the current Delta outbreak.
- “I think there will be a key role for vaccinating children,” the NSW chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said at the daily press conference.
- Pfizer has applied to the TGA for approval to administer the vaccine to children aged between 12 and 15.A Department of Health spokesperson said: “The Australian government continues to follow advice from the Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) on the priority groups for the first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.
- “If regulatory approval is granted by the TGA for the younger age group, Atagi would then provide advice on the prioritisation as the program rollout continues.
- ”Dr Andrew Miller, former president of the Australian Medical Association in Western Australia, said vaccinating younger age groups would help achieve herd immunity, as well as protecting children.
- People aged 12 and older are now widely vaccinated with Pfizer in the US and Canada, and the UK is beginning to vaccinate vulnerable teenagers aged 12 to 15. Clinical trials are under way for Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for even younger age groups.
- “We need to vaccinate children because they can get and transmit Covid – to protect the health of the child but also those who are not able to be vaccinated, or for whom vaccination isn’t as effective,” she said.