A North East mother would happily line up for a COVID vaccination for her vulnerable daughter on Christmas Day if she could.
Eldorado farmer Natasha Lobban is excited about the prospect of her five-year-old daughter, Harriet, being able to attend her first day of school next year without putting her health at risk after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Sunday declared the Pfizer vaccine was safe and effective for children aged five to 11.
Harriet has complex cardiac and respiratory issues, which limits her to the use of one lung and would see her fall incredibly ill if she was to contract COVID.
One more box must be checked for approval to be granted to the age group with batch testing to be undertaken by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the nation's expert vaccine panel.
The rollout could start as soon as January 10.
"Parents and families with vulnerable children are excited their kids should be able to get at least one vaccine before the school year starts," Mrs Lobban said.
"For children, it means returning to the classroom, which for some kids has been almost two years.
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"It's not just the children who are sick, I know of families who have had to pull their older children out of school because of the potential to bring COVID home.
"Life has somewhat gone back to normal, but there's been no protection for kids under 12. It gives parents the choice."
Mrs Lobban said Harriet has spent months of her young life on ventilators and other life saving equipment.
"Hopefully all the stars align and she'll be able to attend her first day of prep like a normal kid," she said.
"That's going to be a huge milestone and we didn't want to have to miss that."
Health Minster Greg Hunt is hopeful of a response similar to the 12 to 15 year olds.
"In just eleven weeks, more than 76.6 per cent of this group have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 67.5 per cent having completed their two-dose course of vaccination," he said.
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