Students in public schools in Western Australia will be able to get vaccinated on campus from term 4 in a further measure to get as many COVID-19 vaccines as possible.
Students will still need their parents’ permission to be vaccinated, just like other similar programs in the public system.
Children aged 12 and over are already eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine in Western Australia, but state Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said new measures would only be an additional program to assist with deployment.
The government will make it easier for teachers and students aged 16 and 17 to get their injections from next week with time slots dedicated to schoolchildren to go to community centers without reservations, starting with public clinics in Joondalup and Claremont.
More clinics will open in Midland, Kwinana and downtown Perth from October 4.
Regional clinics will also have similar time slots available for the same teacher and older student cohorts, starting with Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Coolgardie, Kambalda, Leonora, Norseman, Bunbury, Derby, Kununurra, Carnarvon and Geraldton.
Ms Ellery said the eventual deployment to schools would cover everyone from the age of 12, including staff.
â€œWe will start this in our residential boarding schools, our agricultural boarding schools, our education support schoolsâ€¦ and some high schools and we will add to it throughout quarter 4,â€ she said.
“Our announcement today is in addition to existing arrangements that will continue to be available to all eligible Western Australians, namely booked appointments at community vaccination centers or their GPs.”
Older students are given priority to avoid any drama in the event of COVID-19 incursions into WA that could disrupt their exam period.
Western Australia Vaccine Commander Chris Dawson said there were more than 100 places in the state where vaccination clinics were operating and there were plenty of reservations available.
â€œIn fact, we have 50,000 appointments available at our state-run clinics over the next six weeks,â€ he said.
â€œWe strongly encourage people to book and make an appointment for a vaccination. Yes, there will be opportunities for school leavers and schoolchildren to do so … but for people who have not yet been vaccinated, we have 50,000 appointments available.
â€œYou don’t want to have COVID for Christmas, we want to get this vaccination out into the community to all eligible people before you cross our COVID borders into our community. “