Australia aims to gift a healthy new year to children from 5 to 11 after receiving the recommendation of experts at Pfizer.
The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a statement said that "In one month from today, around 2.27 million Aussie kids aged five to 11 years will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated against Covid-19".
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization has recommended an eight-week interval between the two Pfizer doses for children, which can be shortened to three weeks under special circumstances such as an outbreak.
The US, European Union, Canada and Israel have approved Pfizer for younger children. The US has gone with a three-week interval between doses, while Canada recommends eight weeks.
Two reasons have been stated for a wider interval. Studies carried out among adults have shown a larger gap between doses, resulting in a higher antibody immune response and better vaccine effectiveness, although this has not been shown yet for children under 12.
The second reason is a possible lower risk of developing myocarditis. A Canadian study has shown that young adults aged 18-24 had lower rates of myocarditis when the interval between dose one and two was greater than eight weeks compared to those with an interval of fewer than 30 days between doses.
Lockdown rules were extremely strict in Australia as a result of which, the virus could not hamper the county much. But it was difficult to control the impact of the Delta virus in that area as the Delta spread very fast and was highly infectious.While similar data for children under 12 is not yet available, a recommendation for a wider interval allows us to continue to monitor the real-world international experience of the risk of myocardial. In Australia, children between the ages of 12-15 received a double dose of vaccine.
Lockdown rules were extremely strict in Australia as a result of which, the virus could not hamper the county much. But it was difficult to control the impact of the Delta virus in that area as the Delta spread very fast and was highly infectious.
Australia recorded 222,000 Covid-19 infections andwitnessed 2,000 deaths.
The Pfizer vaccine trial included 2,268 children, all aged 5-11. Of these children, 1,517 were given two doses of 10 microgram vaccine three weeks apart, and 751 were given a placebo. The results found the vaccine was safe and had good efficacy.
Children given the vaccine had similar antibody levels after the second dose to older adolescents and young adults (aged 16-25). This indicates their immune system was able to recognize the lower amount of vaccine mRNA, which is the vital ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine " and still produce a good amount of antibodies to protect against the virus.
The most common side effects that the child might face after the vaccination may a painful arm, a mild headache, tiredness.
The vaccine was around 90% effective at preventing confirmed COVID-19 infection, with three COVID cases in the vaccine group and 16 in the placebo group.