Pfizer will need to make a formal bid for the age group to be approved after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) gave the green light to fast track the application.
“We’re very confident that all of these processes will proceed, but, as ever, we follow the medical advice,” he said during the weekly national vaccination update.
“I think that’s a very important sign and it offers additional support and protection for parents and families. It’s coming at an earlier time than we had previously expected, so I’m very, very pleased about that.”
Headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in Madrid, Spain. Picture: Getty Images
Mr Hunt said the bid has come earlier than expected but he was “pleased” more Australians will be protected.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Sonia Bennett said the chance for five to 11-year-olds to be vaccinated is “very welcomed move and progression”.
She recognised children were less likely to catch COVID-19 but as vaccination rates increase across Australia, infection numbers are expected to grow among kids.
The TGA will weigh up whether the benefits outweigh any side effects that may come to vaccinating young children with a coronavirus jab.
NED-4200-Australias-vaccine-rollout
Pfizer will need to submit comprehensive clinical data.
“In making its decision to grant Pfizer a provisional determination for use in individuals five to 11 years, the TGA considered eligibility criteria, including factors such as the evidence of a plan to submit comprehensive clinical data in relation to use in this age group – and the seriousness of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.
In August, Pfizer was approved for children aged 12 to 15 years old.
Since then 690,000 youngsters have stepped forward for their first dose with 55.5 per cent of the age group with at least one jab.
Australia’s vaccination rollout continues to exceed expectations with 32,000 doses administered in the last 24 hours across hubs, GPs and pharmacies.
Close to 85 per cent of the country have received one dose of a vaccine with second jabs increasing about one per cent each day to sit at 65.4 per cent fully vaccinated.
Vaccine Gigures
Pfizer has also asked the US government to approve the vaccine for the five to 11-year-old age group as it formally filed an application to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorisation.
Shots could be administered in a matter of weeks once given approval.
Pfizer said its research showed younger children should get a third dose of a vaccine that is currently being given to older US residents.
Biden dealt a blow as FDA votes against Pfizer booster shots
After two doses, five to 11-year-olds developed virus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teens and young adults get from regular-strength shots, the company said.
A US study conducted by Pfizer-BioNTech last month found using one third of an adult dose of the vaccine was safe for the five to 11-year-old age group.
Many parents in the US have been waiting for the approval with a 240 per cent jump in COVID-19 cases in children in July.

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