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Australia’s medicine regulator approves Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A healthcare skilled prepares a dose of the Pfizer coronavirus illness (COVID-19) vaccine as high-risk staff obtain the primary vaccines within the state of Victoria’s rollout of this system, in Melbourne, Australia, February 22, 2021. REUT

By Lidia Kelly

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s medicine regulator provisionally accepted on Sunday the Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11, with the well being minister saying the rollout might start from Jan. 10.

“They (the Therapeutics Goods Administration) have made a cautious, thorough evaluation, decided that it’s protected and efficient and that it’s within the pursuits of children and Australians for children 5 to 11 to be vaccinated,” mentioned Greg Hunt, the well being minister.

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After preliminary delays with its basic COVID-19 inoculation programme, Australia has swiftly change into one of many world’s most vaccinated international locations, with well being information exhibiting that almost 88% of Australians over the age of 16 have now obtained two doses.

While nationwide vaccinations are voluntary, states and territories have mandated photographs for many occupations, and a few require full vaccination to entry most hospitality companies and non-essential retail.

Anti-vaccination supporters quantity in single digits in Australia, in line with opinion polls, though they’ve been holding constant weekly rallies towards the healthcare measure in Melbourne and different cities.

Australia’s general childhood immunisation protection can also be one of many highest on the planet, with 95% of 5-year-olds inoculated with vaccines really useful for their age, well being information confirmed.

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The Pfizer vaccine for these children nonetheless wants the approval of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Once accepted, it will likely be accessible to about 2.3 million children within the 5-to-11 age group.

Despite battling many outbreaks this yr, resulting in months of lockdown in Sydney and Melbourne – Australia’s largest cities – the nation has had solely about 834 confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and seven.9 deaths per 100,000 individuals, in line with the World Health Organisation, a fraction of the toll in lots of different developed nations.

Australia has had slightly below 215,000 circumstances in whole and a couple of,042 deaths.

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