NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the vaccination rate among pupils aged 12 and over had increased “dramatically every day” before pupils returned to class.
The vast majority of high school students in New South Wales returning to face-to-face learning this month will have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as inoculation rates soar.
The latest vaccine data shows that 72.11% of NSW residents aged 12 to 15 had their first vaccine around a month after the start of the rollout in this age group, including 26% received a double dose.
In the 16-19 age group, 84.7% have received at least their first dose and 60.48% are fully immunized.
NSW students begin returning to class from Monday after the state came out of lockdown this week, first with the department’s preschools, kindergarten and first grade, before all other classes starting on. October 25.
The state government introduced a vaccination mandate for teachers, but this has not been extended to students aged 12 and older, who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We haven’t made vaccines compulsory for our studentsâ¦ it’s a fundamental right for everyone to have an education,” NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told the host on Thursday. from Sky News Australia, Chris Kenny.
âAnd if their parents made decisions, they really shouldn’t be affected by it.
âHaving said that, we also strongly encourage all of our students to get vaccinated, the participation rates in the community for students aged 12 and over which we are seeing dramatically increasing every day which is really exciting. “
Ms Mitchell said all students over the age of 12 will be able to participate in COVID-safe activities that take place on school grounds, regardless of their immunization status.
âAny activity that takes place on a school site, students will be able to participate,â she said.
âWhen we get back to school of course next week, it will be a little different from what we normally see.
“We don’t have any extracurricular activities, we don’t mix cohorts, it’s going to be pretty structured and it’s based on this health advice and safe return to school.”
Ms Mitchell said a small minority of teachers had expressed concerns about the vaccine’s mandate, but the overwhelming majority supported getting stung.
âThe whole point is really to protect our students and to do everything we can to make sure that we don’t have continued disruption in our schools due to COVID,â she said.
âWe know vaccines work, there is really strong evidence and health advice that they are the key to minimizing the spread of this virus in our communities.
âI have to say that we have received very good support from him. To be honest, I have had a few teachers who are not happy with it, but overall, and overall, most people can understand why we are “doing this, that it is a good idea, and that it is about the health and safety of our students and staff.”