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Australia Indigenous children and those with underlying conditions aged 12 to 15 now eligible for Pfizer COVID vaccine

09:26  02 august  2021
09:26  02 august  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Children aged 12 to 15 with severe asthma and epilepsy, among other conditions , as well as Indigenous children are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine after being placed in phase 1b of the vaccine rollout. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said there was a range of conditions that would make someone in the age group eligible for the vaccine , saying they were the children "at greatest risk" of COVID -19. "This includes children with severe asthma, with diabetes, with obesity with cardiac and circulatory congenital abnormalities," he said.

That is also the rationale behind flu vaccination for young children . The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and the independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) said they had weighed the evidence of trials in children and believe the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective. “We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved Covid -19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12 - to 15 -year age group. “No extension to an authorisation would be approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality and

Children aged 12 to 15 with severe asthma and epilepsy, among other conditions, as well as Indigenous children are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine after being placed in phase 1b of the vaccine rollout.

The decision to include children in the rollout was made by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations, ATAGI, after it was recommended by Australia's national medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administation (TGA) last week.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said it would mean about 220,000 children would now be able to go and get the Pfizer vaccine.

The change will come into effect on August 9, but Mr Hunt said doctors were free to vaccinate children who were eligible before then.

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The Pfizer -BioNTech vaccine is already available to anyone ages 16 and older. The F.D.A.’s go-ahead is not the final hurdle. An advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to meet shortly to review the data and make recommendations for the vaccine ’s use in 12 - to Vaccinating children shields others in the community from the virus, she noted, including people who are not protected by the vaccine , such as organ transplant recipients, cancer patients and those with impaired immune responses. “It also protects all of us from the virus continuing to spread and

Protect Unvaccinated Children . Children between the ages of 2 and 12 should wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t live with. Info for Families. Find a COVID -19 Vaccine for Your Child . Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, your child should be seated or lying down during vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given. After your child ’s COVID -19 vaccination , you will be asked to stay for 15 –30 minutes so your child can be observed in case they have a severe

Mr Hunt said ATAGI had made it clear "from the outset" that the rollout would be opened up to children in two stages.

"They identified there was a significantly greater risk for those who are immunocompromised or with underlying medical conditions," he said.

"They're also reviewing international evidence with regards to the broader age group from 12 to 15 and they haven't rejected that."

He said a decision on whether to include the rest of the 12- to 15-year-old population would be made in four to six weeks' time.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said there was a range of conditions that would make someone in the age group eligible for the vaccine, saying they were the children "at greatest risk" of COVID-19.

"This includes children with severe asthma, with diabetes, with obesity with cardiac and circulatory congenital abnormalities," he said.

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While an unexpectedly high number of Americans aged 12 to 24 have experienced heart inflammations after receiving mRNA-based Covid -19 vaccines , the government and the medical establishment insist that everything is fine. Citing the CDC’s vaccine adverse events (VAERS) database, the committee noted that the number of cases of heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) and heart membrane inflammation (pericarditis) in the youngest categories eligible for the vaccine was higher than anticipated.

Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, so unless they are part of a group at higher risk of severe COVID -19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers. More evidence is needed on the use of the Children aged between 12 and 15 who are at high risk may be offered this vaccine alongside other priority groups for vaccination . Vaccine trials for children are ongoing and WHO will update its recommendations when the evidence or epidemiological situation warrants a change in policy.

"With neurodevelopment disorders, with epilepsy and Trisomy 21 [known as Down syndrome], as well as children who are immunocompromised.

"And of course all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children … and those children living in remote communities."

Professor Kidd said while the outbreak in Queensland now included a number of school-aged children and their close contacts who had tested positive, it was young adults spreading the disease that poses a greater risk.

"What we're also seeing, particularly in Sydney, is a larger number of young adults who've been infected with COVID-19 being hospitalised and increased numbers ending up in intensive care units certainly at much higher levels than we saw during the very serious outbreak in Victoria this time last year," he said.

"What we are seeing both in Australia and overseas is increased transmissibility in young adults.

"We're not seeing that among children but obviously we're following very closely what's happening overseas.

"We've only got small numbers of children who've been infected with COVID-19 in Australia."

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Getting a COVID-19 vaccination — who's eligible, how to book and where to go .
No matter your age or where you are across the state, here's what you can do to get your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as soon as it becomes available. How do I get it?Australians have three options to book a vaccination appointment.These include state-run vaccination hubs, participating GPs and pharmacies.For the Queensland government hubs, you can register online here and the state health department will get back to you.To book at a GP you fill out an eligibility form on the Australian government health website and it will notify you when it is your turn to book a vaccine.

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This is interesting!