Immunocompromised children under 5 now eligible for Covid vaccine

High-risk children aged six months to four years are now able to access COVID-19 vaccinations.

New advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is recommending the use of a Moderna paediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

Children aged six months to four years with severe immunocompromise and complex heath conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 will be able to access COVID-19 vaccinations.

Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew Robertson said vaccines would be available from 5 September 2022.

“Children with severe primary or secondary immunodeficiency, complex congenital cardiac disease, type 1 diabetes mellites will now be eligible,” he said.

“ATAGI recommends two primary doses administered eight weeks apart.

“Vaccines will be available through participating at GPs across WA from 5 September or the Stan Perron Immunisation Centre at the Perth Children’s Hospital from 6 September 2022.”

Children with severe immunocompromise may require three primary doses, each eight weeks apart. This includes children with:

  • severe primary or secondary immunodeficiency, including those undergoing treatment for cancer, or on immunosuppressive treatments;
  • bone marrow or stem cell transplant, or chimeric antigen T-cell (CAR-T) therapy;
  • complex congenital cardiac disease;
  • structural airway anomalies or chronic lung disease;
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus;
  • chronic neurological or neuromuscular conditions; or
  • a disability that requires frequent assistance with activities of daily living, such as severe cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21).

ATAGI does not recommend vaccination for children aged 6 months to under five years who are not in the above risk categories.

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