The Moderna vaccine is being pushed through approval to be made available for children 6-11. Currently, young children are only allowed to have the Pfizer vaccine due to concerns about side effects with Astra Zeneca.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is expected to approve Moderna for children imminently as part of state government drives to get children vaccinated before they go back to school.
“We are expecting new information imminently,” said Minister for Health, Greg Hunt. “They are due to provide that to the European Medicines Agency and the Australian TGA simultaneously on the 17th (of January).”
He went on to add, “They are very focused on bringing this forward and the TGA will do a priority assessment, but an independent assessment.”
This follows the Prime Minister’s general approval for vaccinating all children aged 5-11 in January. His press release:
In one month from today, around 2.27 million Aussie kids aged five to 11 years will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
This will bring great relief to so many mums and dads, who now have a choice on what’s best for their kids. They can have peace of mind knowing this has the tick from the best medical regulators in the world.
Australia is a proud vaccination nation, especially when it comes to protecting our kids, with more than 95 per cent of all five-year-olds currently fully vaccinated against other diseases.
Vaccinating our kids is the next step in our National Plan, which has continually provided us with a safe, step by step pathway to keeping Australians safe throughout the pandemic.
Dr Nick Coatsworth has thrown his support behind the initiative, saying that Moderna could also be used for booster shots.
“You know, we are talking about a booster vaccine for our children – we need to make sure that the evidence is there,” said Dr Coatsworth. “We need to make sure that it is meticulously reviewed. I am sure that it will be proven to be safe and that the evidence is there and that we may just have to wait a little bit longer for that.”
As for how long that will be, Coatsworth said that it was more likely to be ‘weeks’ than ‘months’.
Dr Coatsworth, who has been outspoken on some issues during the pandemic – including whether or not young children should be subject to vaccine mandates, pointed out that some parents may remain sceptical. He assured them that getting their children was the best way to protect them against variants like Omicron.
“We know that it is a mild disease but we want to vaccinate our children because we know that there are some vulnerable children. I’ve got a 6, 8, and 10-year-old and we managed to get our 10-year-old in for her first jab and the other two are booked but it is not as straightforward a decision for kids.”
Moderna’s wait time between shots is half that of Pfizer.