The National Cabinet was told that the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation are in late-stage consideration regarding when Pfizer can be rolled out to 5 to 11-year-olds.
A highly placed official in the Federal government has told The Australia Today, Vaccine for the 5 to the 11-year-old cohort is most likely to be available much before the Christmas holidays.
Besides, Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to expand. To date over 39.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Australia, including 95,247 in the previous 24 hours. In the previous 7 days, more than 604,000 vaccines have been administered in Australia.
The Health ministry data shows more than 92.4 per cent of the Australian population aged 16 years and over have now had the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including over 97.4 per cent of over 50-year-olds and more than 99.9 per cent of over 70-year-olds.
More than 87 per cent of Australians aged 16 years and over are now fully vaccinated including more than 93.7 per cent of over 50-year-olds and more than 97.3 per cent of Australians over 70 years of age.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 210,239 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 2,006 people have died. More than 47.8 million tests have been undertaken, with over 1 million tests reported in the past 7 days.
National Cabinet was told that Australia has sufficient supplies of booster shots available, with contracts in place for 85 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 15 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 51 million doses of the Novavax vaccine.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly says at this stage it is known that the Omicron strain has a high number of mutations, particularly within its spike protein.
However, early data indicates Omicron may be more transmissible when compared with previous variants of the virus which causes COVID-19. At this stage, there is insufficient evidence that vaccines and treatments are less effective against Omicron than other variants and no evidence at this stage that Omicron is a more severe disease.