Children aged 5-11 can now receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines are available through participating general practices, pharmacies, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations and family-friendly state vaccination centres, including some with a ‘Forest of Protection’ theme and activities for children to enjoy.
The forest-themed sites are available only at selected sites including Sandown Racecourse, Melton Vaccination Hub (indoor and drive-through), Campbellfield Ford Complex, Cranbourne Turf Club, Frankston Community Vaccination Hub, Geelong’s former Ford factory, Shepparton Showgrounds and Traralgon Racecourse.
There will also be some community-based vaccination clinics, including at primary schools in Term 1.
While children are less likely than adults to experience severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19, some can still get very sick – this includes children with pre-existing conditions such as obesity, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.
Knowing that some children may have anxiety about getting vaccinated, there are accessible options and supports that can assist children with developmental disabilities, autism and/or sensory issues. Services are available for children with more severe needle phobia.
Children will receive direct protection against COVID-19 with the first dose. A second dose can be given eight weeks later.
Vaccination will prevent transmission to other children and older age groups, including family members who may be at higher risk, such as grandparents.
Vaccinating younger children means there is less chance of school closures in future – this will help kids to have more face-to-face learning and play time, engaging in different activities and being with their friends.
Paediatric bookings can be made online at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine, via the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or at your local pharmacy or GP.