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Pfizer vaccine approved for kids: What you need to know about COVID-19 this weekend.

This weekend has been abundant with COVID-19 news and updates. 

And sometimes, it can be challenging to keep engaged with the 24/7 news cycle, often resulting in burnout.

So, here's a rundown of everything we know about Omicron, the COVID-19 vaccine for children approved on Sunday, and the latest on travel restrictions across Australia.

Watch: How to talk to anti-vaxxers. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approved for kids in Australia.

On Sunday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration provisionally approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids in the 5 to 11 age group.

The approval comes after days of final considerations and recommendations from vaccination experts on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). 

So far, more than 76.6 per cent of Australians aged 12 to 15 have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 67.5 per cent having completed their two-dose course of vaccination.

The numbers are even more promising for Aussies over the age of 16, with 87.9 per cent being fully vaccinated, and more than 92.8 per cent having had at least one dose.

Vaccinating this younger age group is a significant step in the right direction, says the Outgoing Minister for Health, Greg Hunt.

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"The vaccine dose approved by the TGA for children aged 5 to 11 is the same safe and effective vaccine used for other age cohorts, however is one-third the dose approved for those aged 12 and over," Mr Hunt said.

The government will start rolling out the Pfizer vaccine to 5 to 11-year-olds from January 10, 2022. Two doses at least three weeks apart has been recommended by ATAGI.


States and territory COVID numbers.

Victoria has added 980 new infections to its COVID-19 caseload and recorded a further seven virus-related deaths on Sunday. The state is managing 15,433 active coronavirus cases. 

Victoria is now 91 per cent fully vaccinated for everyone aged 12 and over.

Listen to The Quicky: The Department of Health answers your COVID-19 vaccine questions. Post continues after audio.


Across the border, NSW has recorded 286 new cases and one death on Sunday as the state watches a growing number of cases of the Omicron variant.

Two more cases of the Omicron variant have been detected, bringing the state's total to 15. A number of likely cases are expected to be confirmed later on Sunday.

NSW Health says none of the 15 confirmed cases have been admitted to hospital at this stage.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said she had been pleased to see a stabilisation of cases in the regions, but that metropolitan Sydney is starting to record an uptick in cases.

NSW's vaccination rate remains at 92.8 per cent fully vaccinated. 

So far this weekend, the Northern Territory has recorded no new cases, with the total number of cases in its current outbreak remaining at 60.

The ACT has confirmed a second case of the Omicron variant, a close contact of the previous reported individual.

ACT Health reported six new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing its total active caseload to 110.

Of these, six are in hospital, two of which are in intensive care.

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QLD border could open early.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has not ruled out re-opening the border early after revealing no new COVID-19 community cases in the state.

The state will scrap quarantine for vaccinated domestic arrivals when 80 per cent of eligible people are fully jabbed, initially expected to be December 17.

Asked when Queensland may reach their target amid speculation it will be earlier than expected, Ms Palaszczuk said she would provide an update on Monday.

"I will be updating everyone tomorrow. We will have a meeting to look at our projections and how we are going," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said on Sunday 87.2 per cent of eligible Queenslanders had received one jab and 78.1 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Quarantine will be scrapped for vaccinated international travellers once 90 per cent of eligible people in the state are double jabbed.

New border restrictions for South Australia.

South Australian authorities said on Saturday they are "extraordinarily concerned" about the presence of Omicron interstate, but will not make any immediate changes to the state's borders.

Premier Steven Marshall has instead indicated travellers from NSW, Victoria and the ACT could soon find themselves locked out of SA.

"It may become necessary. I hope it doesn't. We would only do that if we wanted to make sure that we still enjoy a Christmas here in SA. This is a balancing act," Mr Marshall said in a press conference on Saturday.

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Currently, all arrivals from NSW, Victoria and the ACT must be tested upon arrival.

These visitors have to isolate until a negative result is received - which currently takes about five hours - and be tested again on day six of their visit to SA.

The new rules are in addition to a requirement for travellers from those parts of the country to present proof of a negative test undertaken up to 72 hours before their arrival.

Parliament House closed and Greens leader in isolation after staffer tests positive.

Greens leader Adam Bandt is isolating after one of his staff members tested positive for COVID-19. 

A spokesperson for Mr Bandt said the staff member, who was in Canberra during the last sitting week of parliament returned the positive result in Melbourne. 

The staff member is fully vaccinated.

"Mr Bandt has been tested and is isolating until he receives a result. He is fully vaccinated and not symptomatic," the spokesperson said, according to the ABC.

"Other members of the team have been tested and returned negative results."

Health authorities in the ACT are now trying to determine if the staff member was infectious in the community.

Federal parliament has been closed to the public as a precautionary measure, according to the Department of Parliamentary Services. 

- With AAP.

Feature Image: Getty.

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