Children aged between five and 11 years old will start to receive COVID-19 vaccinations from this week, with parents urged to make a booking as soon as possible.
The bulk of the children’s vaccination program will be delivered through general practitioners and pharmacies, with Aboriginal Medical Services and Western NSW Local Health District’s (WNSWLHD) vaccination hubs and mobile clinics also playing a role.
Mark Spittal, WNSWLHD Acting Chief Executive, said hubs in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo will be delivering vaccinations to children, alongside the adult vaccination and booster programs.
“At vaccination hubs, parents and carers will need to book ahead for children’s vaccines, and to make life a bit easier they’ll be able to book both the first and second shots for their kids at the same time,” Mr Spittal said.
Children aged between five and 11 will receive two, specially-sized doses of the Pfizer vaccine, eight weeks apart.
“The Local Health District’s vaccination services will play a small but pivotal role in the roll-out of this phase of the vaccination program, including pop-up clinics in smaller areas,” Mr Spittal said.
“Our children’s vaccination service will kick off on Tuesday 11 January with a three-day stint in Mudgee that will include around 50 spaces a day for children.
“Mudgee is one of six satellite sites along with Cowra, Walgett, Parkes, Cobar and the 4Ts (Tottenham, Tullamore, Trundle, Trangie) that will host clinics, and our mobile service will target our smaller and more remote communities. Details of when these services will operate will be on the WNSWLHD website, along with details on how to book.
“Our hubs in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo will have their first appointments on Thursday 13 January. Those hubs operate six days a week and will have space for more than 30 children each, per day.
“That will account for at least 500 children a week able to be vaccinated through our services alone, with hundreds more delivered through the primary care sector. Spots in our hubs are already starting to fill up quickly, so we encourage parents and carers to look at all their vaccination options along with our clinics.”
Mr Spittal said there were several important reasons to ensure children are vaccinated against COVID-19, including:
- COVID-19 can still be a serious illness for children including possible long-term effects, although many children experience relatively mild symptoms.
- Vaccinating children will help to reduce transmission among family and friends in the community, which is particularly important for vulnerable people of all ages.
- Vaccination will help to allow children to stay involved in school and social activities.
Parents and carers are encouraged to use information available through NSW Health when making decisions about COVID-19 vaccines for children.
Additional information on COVID-19 vaccination, and how to find your nearest vaccination provider, is available via the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.