Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth has called for Australian state governments to exempt under 12s from mandatory vaccinations, saying the decision on whether to vaccinate them should lie with the children’s parents, reported.

This comes as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) considers granting provisional approval of the Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine for under 12s.

Currently, the TGA website states that Spikevax is provisionally approved for use in children 12 years and over, and Moderna has now applied to vary that provisional approval for the use of its vaccine in younger children.

The TGA is therefore assessing the potential use of Spikevax in children aged 6 to 11.

While Coatsworth has been active in promoting the vaccine rollout overall, he stressed caution when it comes to vaccinating younger children.

He told on Monday that the risk to young children of serious illness from COVID-19 was minimal, highlighting that this low risk of disease has to be weighed against the risk of adverse events from the vaccine.

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