COVID-19 vaccines for children and young people

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It is important that you and your family stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations. To help answer your questions about COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 17 years old, the Department of Health has provided information below.

The importance of getting 5 to 17 year olds vaccinated against COVID-19

There are many benefits to getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19 which are supported by Australia’s health experts:

  • The vaccine helps prevent children from getting COVID-19: Although COVID-19 symptoms in children are usually milder than in adults, some children infected with the virus can become very sick and require hospitalisation.
  • The vaccine helps reduce the spread of COVID-19: Children are just as likely as adults to transmit the virus to others, including older family members who are at a higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Having your child vaccinated against COVID can help reduce interruptions to your everyday life: Reducing the spread of COVID-19 will help children continue their education and social activities without interruption, which significantly impacts their well-being.

The approved vaccines and dosage for 5 to 17 year olds  

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 and the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 years. Both vaccines require 2 doses.

Children aged 5 to 11 years will receive a smaller dose of the vaccine than people aged 12 and older. If a child turns 12 years of age in between their 2 doses, they can receive the larger dose for the second vaccination.

Receiving 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine helps give the best protection against serious sickness from the virus.

Maximum protection against COVID-19 starts from about 2 to 3 weeks after the second dose.

Children who are severely immunocompromised are recommended to receive a third primary dose, 2 months after their second dose.

Do children need a booster dose?

Over time, protection from vaccines reduces. People aged 16 years and over are recommended to receive a COVID-19 booster dose 3 months after completing their primary course. A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will give people aged 16 years and over the best protection possible against the virus for the longest period.

Children aged 15 years and younger are not recommended to have a booster dose at this time.

What if children catch COVID-19 after vaccination?

No vaccine is 100 per cent effective, so it is possible that your child could still get sick from COVID-19 even if they have been vaccinated. However, evidence shows that people who are vaccinated are much less likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19 or need to go to the hospital.

To book an appointment, speak to your doctor, visit australia.gov.au or call 1800 020 080 and select option 8 for free interpreting services.

Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

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