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TGA provisionally approves vaccine for children 5-11

Sanaa, 5, and her brother Arin, 7, play rock-paper-scissor to decide who will go first in getting their second Pfizer dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. Source: AAP

Australia's national medicines regulator has granted provisional approval for the Pfizer vaccine to be given to children aged five to 11 from next month. Authorities are also considering an application from Moderna for to vaccinate children aged between six and 11.

Rolling out the next phase of Australia's COVID-19 vaccination plan. Australia's national medicines regulator - The Therapeutic Goods Administration has granted provisional approval for children aged five to 11 to receive Pfizer jabs.

"They (TGA) have made a careful, thorough assessment, and determined that its 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 coming weeks. The third is training in relation to use of the Pfizer vaccine in children. Then finally it is batch testing."

Many parents are welcoming the move. 

"Man: "We don't mind that we think it just gives them extra protection so I'll be ok."
Man: "It's just one of those things that will help us get back to perhaps the old normal.
"Child: "I mean I know it's really safe but I just want to get it so I can do stuff that I really want to."

Batch testing teams will work over the Christmas and the New Year period to ensure it is ready to be rolled out. Children will receive only one third of the dose approved for adults.

And to ensure there's no accidental overdoses, the Head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration Professor John Skerritt says it will be dispensed from distinctive orange-capped vials.

"There were no safety signals as we call them, no safety problems identified in those trials. The children had some of the same things as adults - tiredness, headaches, sore arms but these tended to be brief and fairly short-lived. We are confident in the safety of this. We join a number of countries in this, although we are one of the first. The US, Canada, Europe, Israel have also approved it."

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to the feature in Punjabi.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

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