A second COVID-19 vaccine has been given the green light for children, after the medical regulator provisionally approved Moderna for those aged six years and older.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Thursday gave the go-ahead for six to 11-year-olds to receive the Moderna vaccine.
Moderna was previously only been available to people 12 and over.
It now joins Pfizer as a COVID-19 vaccine recommended for children.
A final approval will need to be granted by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.
The medical regulator said children should receive two doses of the Moderna vaccine, spaced four weeks apart.
The approval decision was made after careful consideration of clinical trial data from the US and Canada, which included 4000 children.
“Clinical trials also showed that the safety profile is similar to that seen in adults,” the TGA said.
So far, more than one million children aged five to 11 have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, or more than 48 per cent of the cohort.
It comes as a leading infectious diseases expert warned state governments may need to reintroduce COVID-19 restrictions in the upcoming winter.
As jurisdictions such as Victoria look to ease measures such as QR code check-ins and density limits, Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University said colder months could bring with it a return to restrictions.
“We will have to reconsider what happens in winters, we are likely to get another wave in winter,” he told the Nine Network on Thursday.
“It’s appropriate (to ease restrictions now) as we have high levels of vaccination and there will be less spread for the next few months, but we will have to reconsider what happens in winter.”
Despite the potential for relaxed restrictions, Prof Collignon said it was not a cause for people to become complacent about COVID-19.
“The virus is going to be here for years to come. The only good news is, with vaccination, we as individuals are much less at risk than we were before,” he said.
“The virus will circulate for years to come but it will be at different stages, we will probably get worse waves in winter.”
Thursday saw another 62 fatalities from COVID-19, with 14 confirmed in NSW while there were nine in Victoria.
Queensland registered 39 deaths, however, 27 of those were historic cases with some dating back as far as mid-January.
There were 18,496 cases reported, with 9995 infections in NSW, 8501 in Victoria, and 5665 in Queensland with other jurisdictions still yet to report their case numbers.
Meanwhile, a fourth federal MP has tested positive for COVID-19 during the latest sitting week.
Labor MP Pat Conroy’s result came back on Thursday and he has been in isolation.
Fellow Labor MP Annika Wells and coalition junior ministers Kevin Hogan and Scott Buchholz also tested positive on Wednesday.