More young people are now able to get a third vaccination dose against COVID-19, as Australia’s expert advisory group approves 16 and 17-year-olds for boosters.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided advice that a third dose of Pfizer is safe for the teenage cohort.
“This clinical recommendation aims to maximise protection for this age group, who are at a critical point in their secondary education and early working lives,” a statement from ATAGI says.
“People in this age group are also very mobile and may engage in increased social mixing.”
Similarly to adults, the group recommends that the adolescents receive the vaccine three months after getting the second dose.
More than 90% of the age group nationally has received two doses, with about 65% of this cohort now eligible to receive the booster.
Health minister Greg Hunt said it was highly recommended 16 and 17-year-olds who are immunocompromised receive a booster dose as soon as they become eligible.
He said opening up boosters to some adolescents was good news for year 11 and 12 students as they returned to school.
“It is critical for their health and wellbeing to be able to engage with their friends and get back into school activities,” Hunt said.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration had last week determined the Prizer vaccine was safe and effective for older teenagers at the same dosage levels that adults receive.