TGA gives Pfizer vaccine green light for booster shot in teenagers

Courtney GouldNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Booster shots could be made available for teens as young as 16 as early as next week, with the government vowing to make the third jab “immediately” available to the cohort.

The nation’s drug regulator on Friday gave the Pfizer jab the green light for use in teenagers aged 16 and 17.

Previously, only people 18 years and older had been able to get a booster shot.

The final decision on the booster rollout for teenagers now sits with the nation’s expert immunisation panel.

But Health Minister Greg Hunt assured he expects that advice to be handed to government next week, if not sooner.

“If they say yes, then we’ll be able to provide it immediately,” Mr Hunt said.

“It’s always been a double green light, but it’s about additional protection for young people. And we hope they’ll join the over 7.3 million Australians that have already had boosters.”

Under the changes announced by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, teens aged 16 to 17 years old will be eligible for a third dose three to four months after their second jab.

The TGA announcement follows similar approvals in the US, the UK and Israel for a third dose for the same age group.

Camera IconThe Health Minister said the booster will be provided immediately once ATAGI approves its use. NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

In a statement, the TGA said it is continuing to monitor medical trials for booster shots for younger children.

But NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has said he wants that change to be implemented sooner rather than later.

“I was hoping we would get the booster proved for younger people and 16 and 17-year-olds is a good start,” he told Sunrise.

“It would certainly be great if we could move it down further as soon as possible because there is no question the booster is what makes a big difference to minimising the transmission of the Omicron variants, but also the severity of it.”

Originally published as TGA gives Pfizer vaccine green light for booster shot in teenagers

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