CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s medical regulator has provisionally approved Covid-19 booster vaccines for adolescents as young as 12.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Friday announced provisional approval for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine as a booster for Australians aged 12-15, recommending that people in that age group get a booster six months after their second vaccine dose.
This decision follows the provisional approval granted to Pfizer for the use of Covid-19 vaccine as a booster in individuals 18 years and older on Oct. 26, 2021 and in individuals 16 and 17 years old on Jan. 27, 2022, said TGA.
It is the first vaccine approved for the age cohort but must also receive approval from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) before it can be rolled out.
Regulatory approval of the booster dose for this age group has also been granted in Israel, Britain and the United States, TGA said in a statement.
“ATAGI will provide advice shortly on whether this vaccine should be included in the Covid-19 Vaccine program as the final step in the two green light approval process.”
According to the data from the Department of Health, so far about 68.6 percent of the eligible population had received booster vaccines. And there had been 6,526 total Covid-19 deaths and approximately 4.78 million confirmed cases in Australia as of Friday afternoon.
The rollout of a second booster dose for elderly and vulnerable Australians began on Monday ahead of an expected winter spike in Covid-19 infections.
On Saturday, Australia reported more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases and 24 deaths, including 10 in New South Wales (NSW), the country’s most populous state.