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Child vaccines launch in Australia

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet watches on as Ines Panagopailos, 8, receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Source: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

Children aged 5 to 11 are now eligible for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine across Australia. And Victoria is mandating booster shots for workers across multiple industries.

Milloo Williams is one of the thousands of children aged five to 11 who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia on Monday [10 JAN].

The 10-year-old got her first dose at Victoria's Frankston community vaccination hub.

She's hoping the vaccine will get her back to activities she loves, while another kid Fletcher says the needle barely hurt.

Williams: "So, we could keep like playing sport and going back to school and keep our families safe."

Fletcher: "It was, I get a little scared of needles but it was a little, it was a lot easier than I thought. It's really quick and you don't feel anything."

Emma Bamblett is the Aboriginal artist whose illustrations feature in the picture book that children will get to take home from the hub.

Ms Bamblett says she's relieved her niece Milloo and daughter Jamison have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Yeah, I feel it was important to get my youngest vaccinated. We attend a lot of community events. We're around our Elders and a lot of members of the community, so it was important that you know she had that protection and also that she reduce the risk of transmission then to her Elders and our family."]]

Children aged five to 11 are now eligible for a special lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which is one-third of the size administered to adults.

There's a two-month interval between doses, meaning children who get vaccinated today can get their second jab in early March.

The federal COVID-19 Task Force Commander Lieutenant - General John Frewen says vaccine supply is ample, and an additional two million doses will be available by January 21.

The commencement of the roll-out for five to 11-year-olds is an important day in the vaccine program. This is the last piece in the puzzle, if you like, in our comprehensive national vaccination plan. The - I do want to emphasise again that there is enough paediatric doses in the country to offer every five to 11-year-old a first dose before they commence school this year. The P-M has mentioned right now there is over 800,000 doses sitting in pharmacies and GPs and other state and territory hubs around the country. There is another 400,000 doses being delivered as we speak."

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