By Lidia Kelly
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s health regulator temporarily approved on Sunday Pfizer Inc’s coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, with the Health Secretary saying rollout could begin starting January 10.
“They (Therapeutic Goods Administration) did a careful, thorough assessment, determining that immunization of children and Australians is in the interest of children and Australians.” minister, pastor.
After initial delays with its general COVID-19 vaccination program, Australia has quickly become one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, with health data showing that almost 88% of Australians over 16 years of age have now received two doses.
While national immunization is voluntary, states and territories have mandatory immunization requirements for many occupations and some require adequate immunization to access most hotel and hospitality services. Non-essential retail.
Anti-vaccination advocates are in the single digits in Australia, according to opinion polls, even though they have staged consistent weekly protests against the health care measure in Melbourne and other states. other city.
Health data shows that Australia’s overall child immunization coverage rates are also among the highest in the world, with 95 per cent of five-year-olds receiving age-appropriate vaccines. of them.
The Pfizer vaccine for those children still needs approval from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI). Once approved, it will be made available to about 2.3 million children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Despite facing multiple outbreaks this year, resulting in months of closures in Sydney and Melbourne – Australia’s largest cities – the country has only about 834 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7 ,9 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organization, a fraction of the toll in many other developed countries.
In total, Australia has just under 215,000 cases and 2,042 deaths.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
https://whbl.com/2021/12/04/australias-medicine-regulator-approves-pfizer-vaccine-for-children-5-11/ Australia’s health regulator approves Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 years old