Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates, Vladimir Putin moves troops to eastern Ukraine, Sydney train stoppage ends, NSW COVID cases rise, Victoria COVID cases rise, Qld cases COVID increase, NT COVID cases increase
Young children can now receive Moderna vaccines after receiving the final green light from Australia’s panel of immunization experts today.
Australia’s Immunization Technical Advisory Group has approved a lower dose of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, Spikevax, for children aged 6 to 11, following its tentative approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration last week. The TGA becomes the first regulator in the world to endorse Moderna for this age group.
Health Minister Greg Hunt is now speaking to reporters. You can watch live below.
So far, 49.4% of children ages 5 to 11 have received at least one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine, and the federal government wants to see at least 76% of that age group vaccinated. [p59ylw] against the virus.
Health Minister Greg Hunt encouraged families to come forward to have their children vaccinated.
The TGA approved the Moderna vaccine for young children after carefully reviewing data from the KidCOVE clinical trial that was conducted in Canada and the United States, which included nearly 4,000 children ages 6 to 11.
“The study demonstrated that the immune response to the vaccine in children was similar to that seen in older age groups,” the TGA said in a statement last week.
Clinical trial data also showed that the safety profile was similar to that in adults.
“Australia already has one of the highest childhood vaccination rates in the world, but I can go higher, and we wanted to go higher,” said Minister Hunt.
The Moderna vaccine for children is a half dose, the same as the Moderna booster.
“There’s been a lot of talk: kids don’t get very sick with covid, why are we exposing them unnecessarily,” said Therapeutic Goods Administration Director Assistant Professor John Skerritt.
“Well, in Australia we believe there have been at least six deaths of children with COVID-19. That’s a very significant impact. There’s also serious illness in 40 to 50 children in Australia, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome. I get a little grumpy when people say ‘COVID-19 doesn’t affect kids, it’s just a cold.’ Try telling that to parents of kids who got sick.
“The safety profile of vaccines, while impressive overall, is even more impressive in children before puberty.”
“If rare but serious adverse events occur with vaccines – and that’s almost a statement for every vaccine – they tend to happen within five to six weeks after a dose. That’s different from drugs. We now have of vaccinations in this country for over a year, and in the world since late 2020. I think we’ve now crossed 11 billion doses globally. This is one of the largest data sets that we have never had about the safety of a vaccine.
“I think it’s a very large data set,” he said.