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Tassie kids join Covid vax blitz as freedoms get closer

Seal Media Group, Australia

As of today, children between the ages of 12 and 15 can be administered the Pfizer vaccine, following advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.Joseph Ferguson, 15, and younger brother, Thomas, 13, were among the lucky few to receive a first dose on Sunday, as the Health Department sought to ensure its processes were running smoothly before the eligibility criteria officially changed today.About 24,000 Tasmanian kids now have the opportunity to get vaccinated under the new criteria.Joseph and Thomas’s mother, Angelique Ferguson, who, along with her husband, is fully vaccinated, said she felt “a lot better” knowing that her kids had received a vaccine dose.“We’ve got four children, so we can’t vaccinate the two youngest ones yet,” Ms Ferguson, of Hobart, said. “So it was a really good opportunity to at least get two thirds of our household vaccinated.”“We certainly don’t want to have (our kids) unvaccinated when you see what’s happened in some of the mainland states.”Ms Ferguson, herself a health worker, said the super clinic was “really well-run”.“It was a really easy process,” she said. “The boys were fine and the monitoring afterwards was really thorough, which was great, as well.”“I thought it was really great to see so many people out there rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated. It’s actually really reassuring.”Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said he was “very pleased” that younger Tasmanians could now get vaccinated.“There could be no greater incentive to get vaccinated than to keep yourself, your loved ones and your local community safe,” he said.NED-4476-Australia-Vaccinations-by-LGAA state government spokesman said if a child experienced any of the common symptoms after being vaccinated — such as a fever or headache — it was acceptable for a parent or guardian to keep them home from school.“Being unwell is an authorised absence and students are not required to attend school,” he said.As at September 11, Tasmania has administered a total of 508,015 vaccine doses, with 66.6 per cent of the eligible population having received their first dose and 48.5 per cent being fully vaccinated.Cabinet minister Guy Barnett said the government would mandate that teachers and police get vaccinated if public health advice said such a measure was needed to keep Tasmanians safe from the Delta strain.“We will cross that bridge when we come to it. We are keeping up with changing circumstances, taking health advice and responding as appropriate,” Mr Barnett said.He said making vaccines mandatory for all those working in a health care setting was about protecting vulnerable Tasmanians.To book a Covid-19 vaccine for your child, visit the Tasmanian government’s coronavirus website HERE or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738NED-3589-Vaccine-Passports-graphicCollege students focus of blitzTASMANIA’S college student vaccine blitz will continue this week with nurses administering jabs on campus in the North and North-West.The government’s Covid-19 vaccination schools program moves north on Monday with clinics at Launceston College and Don College in Devonport. The clinics will give up to 300 shots per day at each location to Year 11 and 12 students 16 and over, as well as any unvaccinated staff. Year 11 and 12 students from neighbouring high schools will also be able to access the clinics.Clinics will then head to Hellyer College in Burnie later in the week, Newstead College in Launceston on September 20 and Tasmania’s independent and Catholic schools across the state over the next two weeks.Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said students and parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to discuss the vaccine beforehand and complete the consent form together.It comes after a superclinic in Burnie administered 1400 jabs on the weekend and 1000 vaccinations went into arms at Hobart’s PW1 superclinic.

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