COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to at-risk children from 6 months to under five years of age from next month.
- Australia will become one of the first nations to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children under 5
- Bookings for children aged 6 months to under 5 will open next month
- The vaccine has only been recommended for at-risk children
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) has recommended approximately 70,000 young children at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 be able to receive the Moderna vaccine from September 5.
At this stage, the vaccine is only recommended for children in that age group who are severely immunocompromised, have a disability, or complex health conditions that increase the risk of COVID-19.
It comes after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved a pediatric dose of the Moderna vaccine, which contains a lower concentration of the active ingredient than the adult dose.
Meanwhile, the federal government has secured 500,000 doses of the vaccine for the age group and initial supplies will arrive in Australia later this week.
Parents are currently unable to book the vaccine but details on doing so will be laid out in coming weeks.
The federal Health Minister, Mark Butler, said Australia would be one of the first countries in the world to roll out a COVID-19 vaccination for children aged under five years, following the United States and Canada.
Mr Butler said more than 1.5 million Australians had also received a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine since the federal government expanded eligibility three weeks ago.
Two-thirds of people over 65 have received a fourth dose of the vaccine.
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