Parents encouraged to book COVID vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years

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Pictured: Annie Woods aged 9 years received her first dose of the COVID vaccine at Heritage Medical Centre, Berry from Practice Nurse Dede Woods.

Parents can now book COVID vaccinations for their children aged 5 to 11 years via the Vaccine Clinic Finder.

Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN, said that from 10 January children aged 5 to 11 years will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine but she encouraged parents to speak with their GP if they were unsure or wanted further information.

“In approving the vaccine for this age group, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have carefully evaluated relevant available data to support its safety and efficacy,” said Ms Kitcher.

“Vaccination rates in Southern Eastern NSW are some of the best in the state, thanks to the hard-working staff at almost 160 general practices, four Aboriginal Medical Services, four GP respiratory clinics and more than 90 pharmacies. These primary health care sites are now preparing to administer the vaccines to children from mid-January,” Ms Kitcher said.

Dr Jacqueline Sloan, a general practitioner at Gerringong Medical Practice said: “The latest research shows that the Pfizer vaccine is up to 91 per cent effective in children. The children’s dose is one third of the dose for people aged 12 years and over. Children, between the ages of 5 and 11 years, will receive two doses of the vaccine, eight weeks apart.

“Parents, carers and guardians can be reassured that by vaccinating their child against COVID-19 they have done everything possible to keep their child safe from this virus. Vaccination provides protection from COVID-19 and reduced risk of a severe case of the disease, long-term side effects or long COVID,” she said.

“There are also important social benefits for children and the wider community, as higher vaccination rates will slow the spread of the virus in our community, keep schools open and enable young people to keep doing the activities they love. Connecting with family and friends, participating in team sports, going to concerts and travelling are just some of those activities,” Dr Sloan said.

Parents and guardians can book an appointment for a child via the vaccine clinic finder here.