The country’s leading immunisation advisory group says it is still considering data on whether to give the final approval to COVID-19 vaccines for young children.
Following its latest meeting, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation said a decision is yet to be made on whether to sign off on Moderna’s vaccine for children as young as six months.
The medical regulator granted provisional approval for the vaccine earlier this week, but the advisory group will still need to give the green light for the rollout to proceed.
In a statement, the advisory group said it was reviewing the data on the impact of COVID-19 infections in young children.
“ATAGI will provide advice to the minister for health on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in this age group in due course,” the statement said.
American regulators have only recently approved vaccines for young children in recent weeks.
However, Health Minister Mark Butler said supply of the child vaccine, once approved, was likely to be limited due to competition from other parts of the world.
ATAGI said it also reviewed information from the World Health Organisation on the performance of vaccines in the wake of new, more infectious sub-variants.
It comes as Australia’s fourth-dose vaccination rate is likely to pass 30 per cent of the eligible population within the next day.
The latest figures show 29.7 per cent of eligible Australians over 30 have received their second booster.
The vaccination rate for those 65 and over is 64.3 per cent, while 76.1 per cent of eligible aged care residents have received theirs.
There were more than 55,000 cases recorded across the country on Thursday, with more than 300,000 reported in the past week.
Thursday also saw 89 deaths reported, the highest single-day total since January during the height of the first Omicron wave.
The federal opposition has called for clarity on government health advice in relation to mask wearing and working from home.
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison called on governments not to request people work from home, saying the measure would negatively impact CBDs.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said a reintroduction of broad mask mandates was not on the table, despite the rise in infections.
LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:
NSW: 18,669 cases, 15 deaths, 2202 hospitalised with 55 in ICU
Victoria: 12,278 cases, 25 deaths, 840 hospitalised with 33 in ICU
Queensland: 9023 cases, 10 deaths, 1050 hospitalised with 26 in ICU
WA: 6056 cases, one death, 452 hospitalised with 24 in ICU
SA: 4374 cases, seven deaths, 358 hospitalised with 12 in ICU
NT: 523 cases, no deaths, 81 hospitalised with three in ICU
ACT: 891 cases, one death, 152 in hospital with four in ICU
Tasmania: 1416 cases, no deaths, 172 in hospital with two in ICU.