The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the provisional approval of the Pfizer vaccine for Australian children.
Yesterday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved Pfizer’s COMIRNATY vaccine for children above the age of five years, with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) soon to consider the advice.
PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, said immunity in the nation’s youth is the missing link in the vaccination strategy and pharmacists are ready to protect this important group.
“This is welcomed news for Australian parents, whose children will soon be able to book in for their COVID-19 vaccinations – I know many would like their children vaccinated before the start of the 2022 school year.
“In recent months we’ve seen unvaccinated children return to high-risk settings such as classrooms, and as expected, many schools have subsequently become exposure sites.
“PSA believes that it is imperative that all Australian children can access COVID-19 vaccinations in order to keep themselves, their families and the community safe.
“Opening up to this age bracket now means that there are 2.3 million children who will be in need of vaccination, and as the majority of Australians become eligible to receive their booster dose over the coming months, pharmacist immunisers will have their hands full. Given this, it is imperative that pharmacists are paid fairly for their vaccination services, and at least equally to other health providers.
“Vaccination is the best way to ensure these susceptible populations and their families are protected against the virus – plugging the hole in national immunity.
“Pharmacists are trained and experienced in vaccinating younger age groups against other vaccine-preventable diseases and are now ready to protect them against COVID-19.
“Given the expedient uptake from the 12-15 age bracket, now at 76.6% first dose and 67.5% double dose, we are confident that public demand will be high for 5-11s,” A/Prof Freeman said.
PSA will continue to work closely with the TGA and ATAGI over the coming months to ensure pharmacists are equipped with the most up-to-date advice regarding the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.