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  • Children aged 12 to 15 will soon be added to Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine register after Australia’s expert vaccine panel recommend the decision
  • The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has confirmed the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in this age group
  • Prior to this, those aged 12-15 could get the vaccine only if they had underlying risk conditions or if they were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said participants in this age group would be able to book a vaccine from September 13
  • Recommendations for use of Moderna in adolescents aged between 12-17 will be finalised following a decision from the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Children aged between 12-15 will soon be added to Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine register after Australia’s expert vaccine panel recommended the decision.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has confirmed that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in this age group.

Additionally, it said while data on the safety of the vaccine in this age group was still being gathered, the benefits outweighed the risks.

President of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Karen Price welcomed this decision.

“This is not a virus that only infects and hospitalises older people. It affects children too and we must vaccinate as many people who are eligible as fast as we can,” Dr Price commented.

“Although they [children] are less likely to suffer from serious effects, we have seen from international experience that when you have lots of COVID-19 cases, the number of children in hospital rises significantly.”

Prior to this decision, adolescents aged between 12-15 could get the vaccine only if they lived in a remote community, they had specified underlying risk conditions, or if they were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said participants in this age group would be able to book a vaccine from September 13.

“Principally I would see that happening especially through the GP network and that provides the opportunity for family vaccinations, for the family to go along together across those age groups,” Mr Morrison said.

Recommendations for use of the Moderna vaccine in adolescents aged between 12-17 will be finalised following a decision from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

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