Response to ATAGI advice about vaccinating 5 to 11-year-olds against COVID-19

The latest phase in our COVID-19 vaccination rollout program – to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 years from 10 January 2022 – continues to be based on the best medical and scientific advice available.

Date published:
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News
Audience:
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Extending the vaccination program to this age group has been approved by Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and recommended by Australia’s vaccines experts on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

The TGA’s provisional approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds was based on an evaluation of available data to support its safety and efficacy among this age group.

ATAGI’s considerations before recommending the Pfizer vaccine be extended to this age group built on the work of the TGA and included a careful review of the “real world” experience in other countries where vaccinations had already been administered to this cohort.

Clinical trials have demonstrated the vaccine to be more than 90 per cent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 from seven days after a person has had their second dose. The vaccine was demonstrated to be well tolerated, with most adverse effects being mild and transient.

The experts on ATAGI considered the low numbers of children – approximately one in 3,000 – who get COVID-19 and go on to develop an immunological condition called paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS, also known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C). Children who develop this condition can become very sick for months.

ATAGI also took into account the benefits that vaccinating this age group would have for the broader community through reduced transmission levels and greater protection for older and more vulnerable Australians.

The Australian Government is working with state and territory governments, and health professionals, to prepare for the rollout to be extended to children aged 5 to 11 years from 10 January 2022.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, ATAGI and the TGA are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging evidence on vaccines – both domestically and internationally – and will continue to provide expert, independent advice to the Government.

For people who want more information about the Pfizer vaccine for children.

Read the ATAGI advice

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