The ACT government is planning for "various vaccination delivery options" for children, including potential school programs, after Pfizer was given approval to vaccinate 12-15-year-olds.
Children aged 12 to 15 in Australia will be eligible for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine after the jab's use was approved by the country's medicine regulator.
Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed on Friday that the Therapeutic Goods Administration decided the vaccine can be given to children in that age group.
If ATAGI gives the green light, children with impaired immune systems or underlying medical conditions will be immediately added to the rollout and able to access Pfizer.
They would be eligible to get their shots in Canberra, but the government said it was unlikely they would include all children in the rollout until next year.
A spokeswoman said the government had factored children into its planning and "potential vaccination programs in ACT schools".
"[But] It is expected this will not happen for some time based on supply and the rollout timeline," she said.
A final decision from ATAGI is expected next week.
"The US is doing this for 12 to 15-year-olds and they are providing the world with very, very important safety data," Mr Hunt said.
Canberra is one of the leading jurisdictions in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, but the Commonwealth has been misreporting ACT figures because of NSW residents also getting their jab in the capital.
The TGA in January approved the Pfizer vaccine for people over the age of 16.
The United Kingdom's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation decided this week against giving COVID-19 vaccinations to under-18s who don't have underlying health conditions.
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The UK regulator's guidance said children with severe neuro disabilities, Down's Syndrome, immunosuppression and profound and multiple learning disabilities would be eligible for the vaccine.
Unites States authorities approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 in May.
World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has argued countries that vaccinate children now against COVID-19 do so at the expense of health workers and high-risk groups in other countries.
The COVID-19 vaccine could be suitable to form part of a school-based program in the not-too-distant future, but an immunisation expert says children need to be given the jab for the right reasons.
It's one of the potential scenarios the government is planning for, should vaccines gain approval for children under 16 and supply allow.
National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance director Professor Kristine Macartney said the Delta outbreaks had brought into focus the impact COVID-19 could have on people of all ages.
"We know that anybody of any age can have a severe outcome, but children generally have milder disease and are less likely to have severe Covid," Professor Macartney said.
"But, the hospitalisation rates are still relatively high compared to other illnesses children suffer from and are recommended to be vaccinated against, like influenza."
Professor Macartney noted even if a vaccine was approved for use in children, further steps would need to be taken for it to be included in a school program.
She said Australia had an "excellent track record" of vaccination through school programs and said there was "no barrier" for the COVID-19 vaccine to be added to that - if it was deemed suitable by national bodies and done for the right reasons.
"It's about really ensuring that if a school based program, or general recommendation for children were to go ahead, the rationale for that is made quite clear to parents," she said.
"We know that parents will have different views on the vaccine for themselves ... they will probably also have different perceptions of what Covid means for children."
She said surveys should be conducted to gauge attitudes of both students and parents on getting the vaccine.
Professor Macartney said such a program could be up for consideration early next year, but noted it takes some time to plan.
As has been flagged by the Federal Health Minister, Professor Macartney agreed children who may be at higher risk due to an underlying medical condition or other factor, should be first in line to get the vaccine.
Professor Macartney said Australia was in a very different situation to countries such as the US and UK.
"Countries just need to continue to re-evaluate their decisions, and they need to look at it in their own particular context," she said.
"If we get really high [vaccination] coverage in adults, and we're still seeing the spread of highly contagious Delta variant, it would be potentially the right thing to do then, to vaccinate children for their own benefit."
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