Children aged five to 11 eligible for Covid-19 vaccination from Monday

Millions of children aged 5-11 are eligible to get their Covid-19 vaccination from Monday, as Australia expands its fight against the virus.

There are reports some general practices have cancelled appointments on Monday because of supply shortages.

But Health Minister Greg Hunt insists there is enough supply to vaccinate every child.

“I want to encourage all parents to bring their children forward over the period between now and the end of January, to protect them and to help protect the community with the vaccinations,” he said on Sunday.

“The important thing is that we have a population of approximately 2.3 million children in the eligible five to 11 age group, but with three million doses available over January, and two million doses available over the course of the next two weeks.”

Camera IconArcher Twomey, 8, and Scarlett Twomey, 10 received their first jab of the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday morning at their local pharmacy. Brendan Radke Credit: News Corp Australia

The rollout comes as concerns about the return to school escalates, with the Queensland Premier announcing term one would start two weeks later amid a projected Omicron peak.

Annastacia Palaszczuk said she wanted to see as many children as possible vaccinated before returning to the classroom.

“I know parents are concerned about sending children back to school at a time like this, so I want to assure them that delaying the start of the school year by just two weeks is a sensible solution,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Sunday.

“This is especially important to give more time to vaccinate 5-11 year olds, who only become eligible to be vaccinated (from) Monday.”

Mr Hunt said there would be multiple options for children to get their vaccination – through GPs, Commonwealth vaccination clinics, state hubs, pharmacies or Indigenous medical clinics.

“(But) any one practice, whether it’s a pharmacy or a general practice or a state clinic might have a certain capacity on any particular day as to just with their workforce, how many they can do,” he said.

“Every child that wants to be vaccinated can be vaccinated, but the critical message is for people to look around and bookings are opening every day.”

Source link