EXPERT ADVICE ON COVID VACCINE FOR UNDER-FIVES
* The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has recommended the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination for children aged six months to five years who have certain health conditions.
* The conditions cover those who are severely immunocompromised, those with a disability, and those who have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
* The recommendation is for two primary doses, except for those who are immunocompromised who require three primary doses, with doses eight weeks apart.
* The rollout will begin on September 5, but bookings have not yet opened.
* ATAGI does not currently recommend vaccination for children aged six months to five years who are not in the risk categories for severe COVID-19, as they have a "very low likelihood of severe illness" from COVID-19.
* The age group is one of the least likely to require hospitalisation due to COVID-19, but among the small number who are hospitalised or who die due to COVID-19, frequently present are those who have underlying medical conditions or who are immunocompromised.
* A clinical trial which included 5500 young children showed the two-dose Moderna vaccine provided modest protection against infection with an efficacy of 35 to 52 per cent.
* Most side effects were mild to moderate and lasted one to two days.