Canberra: Australian authorities welcomed a “fantastic” start to the coronavirus vaccine rollout for children on Tuesday as the country is still in a battle against the surging Covid-19 infections.
From Monday, children in Australia aged five to 11 were eligible to get vaccinated against the virus, reports Xinhua news agency.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Michael Kidd on Tuesday said more than 35,000 children were jabbed on the first day and the government was confident that the rollout would gather momentum ahead of schools returning in late January.
“And this is a fantastic start to the five to 11-year-old program, getting those children obviously back to school safely for this year,” he told Seven Network television.
Parents have reported issues booking vaccine appointments for their children and doctors cancelling appointments due to supply shortfalls.
“We currently have over 6,000 sites where children can receive the Pfizer paediatric Covid-19 vaccine, that will be increasing to 8,000 sites over the coming few days,” said Kidd.
“If you can’t get an appointment there over the coming week, if you look around, there are pharmacies in your local area, the state and territory vaccination clinics are opening up and offering appointments.”
Australia on Tuesday reported over 80,000 new Covid-19 cases and more than 20 deaths, according to the health department figures from states and territories.
“What we are doing is watching very closely to see what’s been happening in countries around the world, which have started their Omicron outbreak ahead of when we first saw Omicron in Australia,” he said.