TGA approves Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 12-15 years old

The Therapeutics Goods Administration decided to approve the vaccine for kids late last night.

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Female patient receives Pfizer covid vaccine administered by female doctor

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The Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children aged 12-15 years in Australia.

The Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) made the decision late last night. Previously, COVID vaccines were only approved for those over the age of 16.

The TGA said in a statement:

"(Approval) has been made following careful evaluation of the available data supporting safety and efficacy, including clinical studies with adolescents 12 to 15 years of age."

The highly infectious delta variant is spreading in Australia, including in children. This is unlike previous strains, so today's news will provide options for worried parents.

However, the TGA says:

"Continued approval depends on the evidence of longer-term efficacy and safety from ongoing clinical trials and post-market assessment."

Pfizer replaces AstraZeneca as vaccine du jour

Australia is ranked last for the percentage of people fully vaccinated in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and second last for people who have just one dose of the vaccine.

The federal government was relying on the bulk of supply to come from locally CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) manufactured AstraZeneca plc (LON: AZN).

However, emerging evidence of an extremely rare blood clotting disorder caused by the vaccine led to the government's expert advisory body, ATAGI, to recommend only those aged over 50, later 60, should take the vaccine.

Large swathes of Australians, including older residents, are reluctant to take the vaccine. Instead, they are waiting for more Pfizer vaccine.

The problem is we have too much AstraZeneca and not enough Pfizer vaccine.

The government acted to double the supply of Pfizer, as well as order Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) vaccine as well. The bulk of this additional supply will arrive in the fourth quarter of this year.

The federal government has indemnified GPs who administer AstraZeneca in an attempt to get more jabs in arms.

It is available to those under 40 years who choose to take the jab at their doctor's office.

While today's news is positive, there is no expectation that children will be able to get inoculated any time soon.

Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt said:

"Our plans are in place to roll out what is more likely, on the early advice I have, is that they will fast-track vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds for the immunocompromised children or those with underlying health conditions," Hunt told Channel 7.

Other children will need to wait, along with adults, for more supply of Pfizer most likely in September or October.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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