The Albanese Government has accepted a recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation to make a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine available to children aged 6 months to under 5 years in certain at-risk population groups.
Approximately 70,000 young children at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 will be able to receive a vaccination from 5 September 2022.
The Albanese Government has secured 500,000 doses of the specific vaccine for this age group and initial supplies will be arriving in Australia later this week and distributed to vaccination sites.
The primary goal of the Australian COVID-19 vaccine program is to minimise the risk of severe disease, including hospitalisation and death, from COVID-19.
At this stage, COVID-19 vaccination is only recommended for children aged 6 months to under 5 years with severe immunocompromise, disability, and those who have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
Given the particular needs of this group of children and the small size of the cohort to be vaccinated, only a small proportion of vaccination sites will deliver this vaccine. These sites will be identified on the Vaccine Clinic Finder and bookings will open later this month
ATAGI is not currently recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 months to under 5 years who are not at increased risk. ATAGI will continue to monitor the evidence in relation to the benefit of vaccination in this age group.
More information on when bookings open on the Vaccine Clinic Finder will be available later this month. Parents are asked not to contact vaccination providers at this time.
QUOTES FOR ATTRIBUTION TO MINISTER BUTLER
“The Albanese Government has accepted the medical advice and made COVID-19 vaccination available to our most vulnerable young children who have significant health conditions.
“The Australian Government has secured supplies of this new vaccine for younger children and these vaccines will shortly distributed to vaccination sites.”