Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines would be made available for children ages 5-11 starting Jan. 10, according to Channel News Asia.
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 will only receive one-third of the Pfizer vaccine dose given to those 12 years and older, The Hill reported.
“In one month from today, around 2.27 million Aussie kids aged five to 11 years will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated against COVID-19,” Morrison said in a statement. “This will bring great relief to so many mums and dads, who now have a choice on what’s best for their kids. They can have peace of mind knowing this has the tick from the best medical regulators in the world.”
The decision came after the Australian government accepted recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization. The country will also review whether children as young as 6 qualify for the Moderna vaccine.
“This will be welcome news for millions of families across the country who want the opportunity for their children to be vaccinated,” Morrison said, per CNA.
The decision came amid concerns over the omicron variant and science indicating the safety of giving a smaller dose to children.
The nation’s New South Wales state reported 516 new cases on Friday, its most significant rise in two months. Around 50 cases of the omicron variant have been detected, mainly in Sydney.
Australia has reported about 225,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,084 deaths due to COVID-19.
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