Government extends Moderna vaccine rollout to include more children

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced he has accepted advice to make Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine available for children aged six years and older from 24 February 2022.

The acceptance of advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) broadens access to the mRNA vaccine - SPIKEVAX - from the current age of 12 years and older.

SPIKEVAX joins Pfizer's mRNA vaccine COMIRNATY in being available to children aged five and over.

Minister Hunt said nearly half of children aged between five and 11 have already received one dose of COMIRNATY.

"With Moderna being made available for children aged six and above, parents and carers will have more choice and flexibility in the vaccine they choose for their child," he said.

The federal government has an agreement for 25 million doses of SPIKEVAX. It also has an agreement with Moderna under which the company will develop a manufacturing facility in Australia.

For children aged between six and 11 years old, the paediatric dose of Moderna is half that currently provided for people aged 12 years and over - two doses of 50μg per dose (0.25mL), eight weeks apart, or three doses for immunocompromised children.

The recommended eight-week interval can be shortened to four weeks for children at risk of moderate to severe COVID-19.

Minister Hunt said over 94.3 per cent of Australians have completed their primary course of vaccination.