Get Your Bubs Ready-Spaghetti ‘Cause COVID Vaccines for Kids Under Five Are Coming

vaccines for kids under 5

Australia’s medicines regulator is on the verge of declaring the under five population ready for vaccination. Data are currently in the final stages of being reviewed by the Thereputic Goods Administration who are expected to announce that the Moderna vaccine is safe to use in young children in the “coming weeks”.

Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler has said that the TGA are working through the application from Moderna to use their COVID-19 vaccine in young children and that he expects the decision to go through, given it is already being used for that age group in the United States.

“You’ve generally seen a sequence whereby the American authorities will consider vaccines first of all, then the Europeans, and then countries like Australia,” he told ABC Radio in an interview.

“Now the TGA [Therapeutic Goods Administration] … has an application from Moderna which they’re currently going through. If that is approved, then that will go, as I said, to our advisory group on vaccinations.

“I don’t control that timeframe. I think it’s appropriate that those authorities feel that they are able to conduct their work, their legislative work, in a timeframe that’s proper. And I’d expect that to happen over coming weeks”.

The TGA confirmed that they were evaluating the Moderna application on May 13 to extend the use of the same vaccine currently being used in older groups for children aged six months to five years.

The jab used in young children will be the same Moderna Spikevax vaccine used in adults and teenagers but in about a quarter of the dose given to those over the age of 18.

Pfizer has not made an application to the TGA to use its vaccine in the younger age group, although their jab is currently being used in people aged five and up.

Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in children 6 months old and upwards last Friday.

“As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said.

While more than 95% of the population of Australia over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated, that only works out to 84% of the total population. The higher we can get our vaccine levels, the less transmission we should have and therefore fewer avoidable deaths. Although children are much less severely affected by COVID-19, they can still catch and spread the virus which leads to difficulty in education and childcare settings.

Currently, the only populations who are unable to get a vaccine are those with serious mitigating health risks and those under the age of five.

If the TGA decision to allow the youngest cohort to get the Moderna vaccine goes ahead, that will mean an additional 6% or so of the population will then be eligible. If all of those are vaccinated, as well as the younger age groups who are still being brought forward for vaccinations, then Australia could expect its overall vaccine coverage to get above 90%, something that so far only a handful of countries have been able to do.

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