Scott Morrison says the government will be very careful about vaccinating Aussies under 18 as experts say the group must get shots if we want to control the Delta variant
- Experts warn against a cautious approach to vaccinating children under 16
- Epidemiologists advise rollout of vaccine for under 16s after other age groups
- Pfizer has filed to lower its vaccine approval age from 16 to 12
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he will take a cautious approach and seek advice from TGA
Australia will be cautious about approving coronavirus vaccinations for children, with experts warning that the move is critical to fighting the Delta strain.
Leading epidemiologists and public health experts have called for the rollout to include people under 16 when other age groups are offered vaccinations.
Pfizer has filed an application with the drug regulatory agency to lower the approval age for its vaccine from 16 to 12 years.
Leading epidemiologists have called for vaccine roll-out to people under 16 after other age groups are vaccinated
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government has taken a cautious route to green-light Pfizer and AstraZeneca for use in people over the age of 16.
“We will take the same approach here when it comes to impacting younger Australians under 18, under 16,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.
“We’re going to be careful with that, of course.”
Doctors have pointed to new evidence showing that six percent of Delta-infected children had long-lasting symptoms, while one in 1,000 died.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the government will be cautious about vaccinating people under 18 and take charge of the TGA
“The fact that COVID can kill and incapacitate young people is well known around the world,” Andrew Miller of the Australian Medical Association said earlier this week.
The NSW government has indicated that it wants to vaccinate children when older age groups are vaccinated.
But the rollout has yet to expand to people under 40 nationally, with Pfizer stocks not at the levels needed to vaccinate younger people.
Morrison said the government had looked into vaccinating children but would not prejudge the advice of the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Cabinet ministers will receive a briefing Thursday from Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and Health Department chief Brendan Murphy on the matter.
US President Joe Biden has called for children ages 12 to 15 to be vaccinated after his country’s regulatory agency approved Pfizer for that age group.
The UK has decided to only vaccinate children who are extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus or who live with someone at risk.
“Different countries have had different approaches to that,” said Mr Morrison.
“The TGA is working on that and I’m waiting to see what their recommendations are.”