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Filipino parents weigh decision on getting younger kids vaccinated

TGA approved covid-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 Source: Getty Images/Yuganov Konstantin

Australia's national medicines regulator - The Therapeutic Goods Administration has granted provisional approval for children aged five to 11 to receive Pfizer jabs.

Beginning January 10, children aged 5-11 will be able to receive the Pfizer jab against COVID-19.

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Filipino parents weigh decision on getting younger kids vaccinated
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Highlights

  • Around 2.3 million children aged 5 to 11 in Australia will be able to get at least their first dose of the vaccine before the 2022 school year starts in February
  • Batch testing teams will work over the Christmas and the New Year period to ensure vaccines are ready to be rolled out.
  • Children will receive only one-third of the dose approved for adults.

Filipino parents speak out 

Melbourne mum Rea Lyn Alvarez believes in the efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19, but she still wants to wait it out before she decides to get her five-year-old son vaccinated.

"My husband and I are fully vaccinated but we decided to wait it out a bit before our younger child gets the jab. We know the side effects for adults but we don't know yet how will it affect younger kids," shares Rea Lyn.

A mum and nurse from Melbourne, Evelyn Bayola, admits it will not be an easy decision for her. As a frontline worker, she's fully aware of the effects of the virus and that getting the vaccine is the safer way to protect ourselves from the virus.

"I know the ATAGI and TGA of Australia are not going to introduce a vaccine for kids that is not safe.

They’ve been conducting research on how effective or what are the possible side effects, that's why I'm confident that they're doing their job.

I am also working in the medical field and I trust that they will do their job properly,  So I’m leaning towards getting my kids vaccinated,” shares the mum-of-two.

The TGA 

Health Minister Greg Hunt says, "They (TGA) have made a careful, thorough assessment, and determined that it's safe, effective, and in the interest of children. This is the first of four critical steps that focused on the safety and effectiveness of vaccinating children. The first is the TGA approval.

The second is the recommendation from ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) which we are expecting in the coming weeks. The third is training in relation to the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children. Then finally it is batch testing."

Federal authorities are also considering an application from Moderna for a vaccine for children aged between six and 11. The government says it already has supply deals in place to make it available, should it be approved.

Facts about the vaccine

Here are some of the important information to know about the vaccine:

1. It can prevent children from becoming ill from COVID-19.

2. The vaccine schedule for children is 2 doses, given 8 weeks apart. This interval can be shortened in special circumstances to a minimum of 3 weeks.

3. It does not contain a live virus and cannot cause COVID-19.

4. The dose for children is much smaller (one third of the active component of the vaccine).

5. It has been tested on more than 3,500 children aged 5 to 11 years in the clinical trial and a safety expansion group. Most of the participants only had mild side effects.

6. Children who have an anaphylactic reaction to exposure to the vaccine should not get the jab.

Visit the Department of Health website for more information regarding COVID vaccinations for kids aged 5-11.

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