Australian children under 12 could be vaccinated this year as minister urges Pfizer to seek approval

Children aged five to 11 could be vaccinated as early as this year after the health minister, Greg Hunt, invited Pfizer to seek Australian approval for use of its vaccine in younger children as soon as possible.

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

The move to potentially fast-track vaccinations for this age group comes after Pfizer announced it would seek to roll out the vaccine to under-12s in the US, and as the Australian Medical Association called for more children to be vaccinated before restrictions were eased.

On Tuesday, Hunt wrote to the managing director of Pfizer Australia and New Zealand, Anne Harris, inviting the company to also apply to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration in parallel with its process in the US.

Related: Future pandemic modelling in Australia to factor in increased severity of Covid Delta variant

“I am heartened by your advice that trials of the Pfizer vaccine are showing promise in children under the age of 12 years of age,” Hunt said.

“I note the announcement that Pfizer International is now intending to apply for regulatory approval of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 12. I encourage and invite Pfizer to submit a parallel application to the TGA for Australian regulatory approval at the earliest possible time.”

© Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian Greg Hunt has invited Pfizer to seek approval from Australian authorities to roll out the vaccine to five- to 12-year-olds in parallel with its process in the US.

Hunt said that if the TGA found that the vaccine was safe and effective for children under 12 years of age, the government had adequate supplies of vaccine on order and could commence vaccination “as a priority”.

Australia’s chief nursing and midwifery officer, Alison McMillan, said the timing of expanding the rollout to this age group would depend on when Pfizer made the application, which would then need to go through the TGA and Australia’s Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi).

“It’s important to understand Australia is ready and prepared for childhood vaccination … and of course, for any boosters that might be required of us into the future,” McMillan said.

“Based on when the application is received, the data is submitted and they can make an assessment – it is possible that we will see that this year,” she said.

  • Sign up to receive an email with the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning

Earlier on Tuesday the Australian Medical Association and medical experts told the Covid-19 committee that children aged 12 to 15 should have a chance to be vaccinated before restrictions were eased.

Around Australia, just 14.4% of children aged 12 to 15 have had a first dose and less than 1% were fully vaccinated.

The AMA president, Omar Khorshid, told the hearing those who want to be vaccinated in that age group should be able to “before any substantial opening up so they’re not exposed to risk before they have had the opportunity”.

The epidemiologist Prof Mary-Louise McLaws said Australia should look to the experience of countries like Singapore, where children’s infection rates shot up after easing restrictions, rather than basing its reopening plans on modelling.

Children aged 0 to 19 now make up one-quarter of the Covid caseload in Australia, she said. McLaws blamed the fact Australia “didn’t have enough vaccine” for younger age groups, meaning those aged below 39 were “at the back of the queue”. Eligibility opened up to adults aged under 40 in August and since mid-September for those aged 12-15.

McLaws warned Australia could pass the 70% double dosed target in about 24 days and reopen despite the fact those aged 12 to 39 won’t achieve 70% vaccination rates for another 46 days.

Related: ‘We are absolutely in crisis’: Sydney’s health workers on whether the system is coping under Covid | Joseph Freeman and Alexandra Martiniuk

“We need a priority line for 12- to 39-year-olds – they are the ones that will acquire Covid and spread it.”

Prof Raina MacIntyre noted that, although Covid is milder in children compared to adults, “some are hospitalised and some die”.

MacIntyre noted the Doherty Institute modelling projects 276,000 children will be infected with Covid in the six months after reopening at 80% vaccination rates overall, including 2,400 who will require hospitalisation, 200 in ICU and 57 who may die.

However, these figures were based on Doherty’s initial modelling, which has since been updated to 93 ICU admissions and 25 deaths, and is based on there being only “baseline restrictions” in place and partial effectiveness of the testing, tracing, quarantine and isolation (TTIQ) regime.

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance director, Prof Kristine Macartney, said that Delta’s transmission rate in schools is “five times higher” than Covid strains in Australia in 2020.

Macartney said that there was “very promising” early take-up of vaccines by the 12-15 age group, and defended Australia’s immunisation strategy to target vulnerable older people first.

Macartney, who is an ex officio member of Atagi, said prioritising older Australians was in line with World Health Organization advice, and Australia was still one of a “minority” of countries that had already made vaccinations available for adolescents.

Andrew Steer, the director of immunity research at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, told the Covid-19 committee that Pfizer’s announcement was “terrific news”, although it was based on clinical trials of 2,500 children, far less than adult trials of up to 34,000.

The former deputy chief medical officer, Nick Coatsworth, told the Covid-19 committee that his message on Australia’s response to Covid was one of “cautious optimism”.

Coatsworth, who is now executive director of medical services at Canberra hospital, said Australia was in a “very different” position in 2021. New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT were managing Covid outbreaks, Australia had “increasing but not yet optimal” vaccination rates” and other Covid treatments were improving.

Coatsworth cited treatments such as antibody drug sotrovimab and improved learning around techniques like “proning” (lying patients on their front).

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

What we know about deadly prop gun shooting on 'Rust': Baldwin didn't know gun had live rounds

Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, court records released ... Read more »

Halyna Hutchins, beloved cinematographer killed on 'Rust' set, remembered as rising star

After wrapping his film “Archenemy,” director Adam Egypt Mortimer praised the people behind the scenes who made the project come to life. Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography, was the ... Read more »

Rhodes To The Top's Cody Rhodes Breaks Down The Scene That's Still 'Hard To Watch'

Cody Rhodes’ long time in the wrestling industry may lead fans to believe he’s immune to problems that impact other wrestlers in the business, but his reality series Rhodes to ... Read more »

The soft toys parents hope connect kids to their faith

© BBC Manisha Varsani says the Hanuman soft toy helps her sons Jayden and Khayan connect with their Hindu faith and culture Could a cuddly deity be a powerful way ... Read more »

Best tech gifts for gamers

© Provided by Dot Esports Whether it’s to create a more enjoyable environment, look after their health, or give a nostalgic kick to the end of their year, these tech ... Read more »

An Illinois school board member said she resigned after finding 4 dead rodents in front of her home: 'I was afraid on a day-to-day basis'

© Carolyn Waibel. A photo of Carolyn Waibel’s AC unit after she said harassers tampered with it next to a picture of one of the dead rodents left in her ... Read more »

Vic Fangio: I'm not thinking about my coaching status

© Provided by NBC Sports The Broncos’ 3-0 start seems long, long ago. What has become crystal clear is the Broncos’ start was a function of the competition. The Giants, ... Read more »

Warrant: Baldwin didn't know weapon contained live round

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally ... Read more »

Penduduk dakwa sistem perparitan tidak disenggara punca kerap banjir

© Provided by Sinar Harian MELAKA – Rata-rata penduduk Taman Ayer Molek Seksyen 2 di sini menyalahkan sistem perparitan yang tidak disenggara sebagai punca kejadian banjir yang kerap berlaku di ... Read more »

Chautala clan dominates poll scene — campaigning against each other, for different parties

© Provided by The Indian Express The upcoming bypoll in Ellenabad is nine days away with the contest having shaped up to be a triangular one. But the unique thing ... Read more »

Delayed monsoon exit may mean ‘severe' smog: Report

© Provided by Hindustan Times In 2020, during the stubble burning season October 1-November 29, an average 12.2% per day of Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution came from farm stubble fire smoke. ... Read more »

Aroosa's ‘ISI links' to be probed, says Randhawa; Capt hits back

© Provided by The Indian Express Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa tweeted on Friday evening that police will carry out an investigation into former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder ... Read more »

‘Ghee' is code word for explosives, claims NIA; Delhi court says no evidence

© Provided by The Indian Express There is no evidence on record to show that ‘ghee’ is a code word for ‘explosives’ and ‘khidmat’ is cipher for ‘service of terrorists’, ... Read more »

‘Free speech not at cost of communal harmony': Imam's bail plea dismissed

© Provided by Hindustan Times JNU student Sharjeel Imam. (Amal KS/ Hindustan Times) The “fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression cannot be exercised at cost of communal peace ... Read more »

‘Farmers fed up with politicians, their choice who to support'

© Provided by The Indian Express After former CM Amarinder Singh’s remarks that he hoped that farmers can come together on one side, unions representing them said that they had ... Read more »

Extra £1.5bn for train and tram upgrades but Sunak under fire for broken transport promises

© El Pollock/Creative Commons New carriages for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink are among the improvements in the pipeline – El Pollock/Creative Commons An extra £1.5bn will be spent on train and ... Read more »

Bohemian Rhapsody: Star Wars and Dune actor turned down chance to play Freddie Mercury

Hollywood history is full of tales of actors who turned down iconic roles, from Will Smith passing on Neo in the Matrix to Burt Reynolds rejecting the lead in Pretty ... Read more »

Brandon Lee's Family Responds To Alec Baldwin's Fatal Set Accident

© Provided by CinemaBlend Brandon Lee The Crow screenshot News of the tragedy surrounding Alec Baldwin’s movie Rust swept across Hollywood and the media. The unfortunate incident led to cinematographer ... Read more »

This Serum Took "Years Off" Shoppers' Skin, and It's on Sale for $11

It’s safe to say that Amazon shoppers really love Cosmedica Skincare’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It’s earned more than 26,000 five-star ratings and at one point, even Khloé Kardashian was using ... Read more »

To save child credit expansion, Democrats ready shorter renewal

Democrats are facing the possibility of a much shorter extension of an expanded child tax credit they’ve touted than many had hoped, which could ultimately stave off cuts to other aspects ... Read more »

«Endlich ist es fair»: Holt Lara dank Kalender-Reform die grosse Kugel?

© keystone-sda.ch Holt Lara dank Kalender-Reform die grosse Kugel? Was würde sich ein Skirennfahrer wünschen, wenn er zwischen Olympiasieg, WM-Titel oder Gesamtweltcup wählen könnte? Sicher, eine Goldmedaille funkelt mehr als ... Read more »

What we know about the deadly shooting on 'Rust': Baldwin didn't know gun had live rounds

Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, court records released ... Read more »

Is The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes multiplayer? Answered

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes features an interesting form of multiplayer where not everyone plays at once. Instead, everyone in the game takes turns. House of Ashes features ... Read more »

Tunisia mandates residents, foreign travelers show COVID-19 vaccine pass

Tunisia will be mandating its residents and foreign travelers show proof of vaccination amid the country’s lagging vaccination rate, Reuters reported. © Getty Images Tunisia mandates residents, foreign travelers show ... Read more »

Blizzard offers free BattleTag change to commemorate Cassidy's new name in Overwatch

Much like one of Blizzard’s most recognizable characters, players may also want to change their names in Blizzard’s various worlds. Now, all players will have the option to do so ... Read more »

Lori Harvey's Michael B. Jordan-Approved Skin-Care Brand, SKN by LH, Finally Launched

Lori Harvey is launching her own beauty brand called SKN by LH. © Getty / Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin Lori Harvey’s Michael B. Jordan-Approved Skin-Care Brand, SKN by LH, Finally Launched The new ... Read more »

Philippines still in dirty money gray list

© STAR / File Philippines still in dirty money gray list FATF cites need to act on 8 issues MANILA, Philippines — Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained ... Read more »

Newswrap, October 22: NCB summons Ananya Panday on Monday; Bunty Aur Babli 2 teaser out & more

© Provided by Pinkvilla NCB summons Ananya Panday again on Monday As per the latest reports, actress Ananya Panday has been summoned again by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on ... Read more »

Gland Pharma Q2 net up 38%

© Provided by The Times of India Hyderabad: Generic injectables focused pharma player Gland Pharma Limited on Friday said it has posted a 38% jump in net profit for the ... Read more »

Dads spend time in Louisiana school to curb violence among students

After a violent week of fighting in school that saw 23 students arrested in three days, Southwood High School parents knew something had to change. © Credit: CBSNews 9ae20ca0-cbe8-46ed-859f-0be9024c0fda.jpg Some ... Read more »

Best cordless vacuums in 2021: Convenience, power, and portability

© Provided by BGR Best Cordless Vacuums Cordless vacuums are much more convenient than plugged-in ones. Not only do they prevent you from having to constantly change the power outlet ... Read more »

Alberta government says jobs, economy, COVID to be focus of fall legislature sitting

EDMONTON — The Alberta government plans a busy fall legislature sitting aimed at adding jobs and diversifying the economy while focusing on tamping down the renewed surge of COVID-19. © ... Read more »

Covid live: AY.4.2 strain of Delta variant under investigation in UK; Pfizer says jab shows 91% efficacy in children

LIVE – Updated at 23:45 © Photograph: AP Child-sized doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in a factory in Puurs, Belgium. Offshoot of Delta designated a variant under investigation in UK; ... Read more »

This Kids Couch Looks Just Like Those Popular Nugget Sofas — But It's Only $179.98

© Sam’s Club If you’ve been coveting the Nugget, the playroom-perfect foam couch, you’ll love this affordable lookalike from Sam’s Club: The Member’s Mark Kids’ Explorer Sofa. The furniture comes ... Read more »

Guard Your Gifts: 7 Effective Strategies for Defeating Porch Pirates This Holiday Season

© Product Photo Courtesy of Nest Chances are, you’ve experienced a dramatic upswing in the number of packages you’ve had delivered over the past few years thanks to the pandemic, ... Read more »

Facebook resisted changes to dial back viral content, report says

Facebook’s executives reportedly resisted efforts to dial back features that help amplify false and inflammatory content ahead of the 2020 US election because they feared doing so could harm the ... Read more »

People exercise at gyms without masks, but dining in restricted — S'pore restaurant owners express frustration at extension of COVID safe measures

© The Independent Singapore Singapore — In light of the extension of Covid-19 safe management measures announced recently, restaurant owners express frustration and ask for clearer goals. A restaurant owner ... Read more »

BJP MLA Saini, 11 others let off: ‘lack of evidence'

© Provided by The Indian Express A COURT on Friday acquitted BJP MLA Vikram Saini and 11 others in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots. Saini and ... Read more »

Karnataka tribal youth is freed in Naxal case: ‘Having book on Bhagat Singh not unlawful'

© Provided by The Indian Express A TRIBAL youth from a remote village bordering the Kudremukh national park in Dakshina Kannada district, who was arrested in 2012 when he was ... Read more »

What It Really Means To Be Plant-Based

In the past few years you have likely heard buzzwords like “plant-based” or “flexitarian. Both terms refer to diets that eliminate meat based on a person’s preference, whether it’s cutting ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic