Kids aged five to 11 now eligible for vaccine. Here’s how to book | Sunrise

    Children aged between five and 11 can now protect themselves with a COVID-19 vaccine after becoming eligible across Australia on Monday.

    The major milestone means 2.3 million kids who were previously unprotected from the virus can now join teenagers and adults by rolling up their sleeve.

    Watch the video above for everything you need to know about jabs for kids

    Children will be a given two smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine eight weeks apart, administered at GP clinics, vaccination hubs and pharmacies across all states and territories.

    The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) gave approval for the vaccine in December.

    COVID-19 Task Force Commander Lieutenant General John Frewen told Sunrise that supply is not an issue, with 3 million doses available over January for the 2.3 million children who will be eligible for a jab.

    “This is a really important day for the rollout, we’ve been looking forward to giving five to 11 year olds the opportunity to get vaccinated,” he said on Monday.

    “There are more than 10,000 places across the country now that are administering vaccines and the majority of those will be engaged in the rollout for kids as well.”

    Lt General Frewen urged parents to show “a little bit of patience” if they’re struggling to find available vaccine appointments.

    “I know people are very keen to get their kids through before school,” he said.

    “Supply isn’t the issue, we’ve got enough vaccines, the real challenge now is just getting the distribution to where the demand is the greatest.”

    It comes after Queensland announced the state will delay the start of school year by two weeks to give more time for children to get vaccinated.

    “I don’t want parents to have concerns,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said during a media conference on Friday.

    “I’ve got sisters who’ve got young children, they’re concerned and they want to make sure that their kids are vaccinated before returning to school.”

    Infectious diseases expert Professor Robert Booy told Sunrise parents shouldn’t be concerned about sending their healthy children to school if they are not yet vaccinated.

    “We’ve managed COVID with kids in schools before we had vaccines for kids – and remember that Delta was more severe than Omicron,” he said.

    Going to school, despite not being vaccinated yet, is not a huge risk

    “Healthy kids can go to school unvaccinated, they’ll still cope just fine, if they catch COVID they may just have a cold,” he added.

    “Most kids get better in two or three days.”

    How to book?

    Parents of children aged 5-11 have been able to book a vaccination appointment in most states since last month.

    The federal government has said child vaccine doses will be delivered to over 6000 general practices, more than 150 commonwealth vaccination clinics, over 115 indigenous medical clinics, 2000 pharmacies and over 250 state run vaccination hubs.

    Australians can find their nearest provider of COVID-19 vaccines for children via the Department of Health’s Vaccine Clinic Finder website.

    Watch Professor Robert Booy’s full interview in the video below

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