Australian regulator approves Pfizer to vaccinate children aged 5-11 Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: On February 22, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia, high-risk workers who launched the program in Victoria are receiving the first batch of vaccines, and a healthcare professional is preparing a dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine. REUT

Lydia Kelly

Melbourne (Reuters)-The Australian Drug Regulatory Agency granted provisional approval on Sunday Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) The Secretary of Health stated that the coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years may begin to be launched on January 10.

Health Minister Greg Hunt stated that the Therapeutic Goods Administration “has conducted a careful and thorough evaluation to determine that it is safe and effective, and that vaccinating children between 5 and 11 years of age is in line with children’s and Australians’ requirements. Benefit”.

After the initial COVID-19 vaccination plan was delayed, Australia quickly became one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, with nearly 88% of Australians over the age of 16 receiving two doses of the vaccine.

The high vaccination rate will help slow the spread of the virus and promote a rapid economic recovery. The government plans to increase its growth forecast for 2022 within a few weeks.

The efficacy of the vaccine against the new Omicron variant that is circulating in Australia is still unknown.

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported two more Omicron cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 15, and the Australian Capital Territory confirmed its second case.

The parliament building was closed to the public last weekend and until Friday after the last week of the legislature, a staff member of a parliament member tested positive for COVID-19 until further notice.

The variant of the infected case has not been disclosed, but the health authorities said that the staff have been fully vaccinated.

Although vaccination nationwide is voluntary, states and territories have mandated injections for many occupations, and some require full vaccination to obtain most hotel services and non-essential retail.

Health data shows that Australia’s overall child immunization coverage rate is also one of the highest in the world, with 95% of 5-year-old children vaccinated for their age.

The Pfizer vaccine for these children still needs to be approved by the Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group. Once approved, it will be open to approximately 2.3 million children between the ages of 5 and 11.

According to data from the World Health Organization, despite multiple outbreaks this year, which resulted in the lockdown of Sydney and Melbourne (Australia’s largest cities) for several months, the country has only about 834 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one per 100,000 people. 7.9 Deaths account for only the losses of many other developed countries.

The total number of cases in Australia is just under 217,000 and the death toll is 2,042.

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