Medsafe 'ready to move quickly' on vaccine for kids

Tens of millions of people have now received the Pfizer vaccine. Photo: Reuters
Tens of millions of people have now received the Pfizer vaccine. Photo: Reuters
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says regulators are poised for final approval to rollout a Covid-19 vaccine for children.

An expert panel has recommended the US Food and Drug Administration approve a Pfizer vaccine for ages 5 to 11.

If the FDA authorises a paedriatic vaccine then final say-so for its usage falls to the Centers of Disease Control in early November.

Hipkins told media today the authorities in New Zealand were getting ready.

"We have the network set up. Obviously we are able to operational that quite quickly. The FDA approval was the first hurdle for our own approval processes in New Zealand. I know that Medsafe are ready to move quickly on an application."

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says more information from Pfizer is expected to be provided to Medsafe early next month.

"They have got that pediatric version of the vaccine ready to go should it be approved for use," Bloomfield says.

"So that's an important part of the consideration of both the approval process here and then the timing of when we can roll out the vaccine."

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter