NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it’s an “outstanding result” that 20 per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds have had their first COVID-19 jab with the new Moderna vaccine expected to boost numbers.
Fourteen pharmacies in some of Sydney’s COVID-19 hotspots started administering the Moderna vaccine yesterday, with more to follow in coming weeks.
From Monday, September 27, more than 1,800 pharmacies across Australia will have received Moderna doses, including over 569 community pharmacies in NSW over the next week.
Ms Berejiklian urged all parents to consider getting their children vaccinated in time for the staggered reopening of schools which will begin from October 25.
“Pleasingly for 12- to 15-year-olds, we know that now 20 per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds have had their first dose of the vaccine,” the Premier said.
“Given that was only made available about a week ago that is an outstanding result and we are urging all parents to consider vaccinating their 12- to 15-year-olds.
“We want to make sure that when school goes back we have not only great coverage in the adult place of vaccination but in the 12- to 15-year-old group, which is so critical.”
Dylan Nguyen Ton, 14, was one of the first people in Australia to receive the Moderna vaccine yesterday at a pharmacy in Cabramatta in Sydney’s south-west.
He said the jab “only hurt a bit” and he felt “safer” about going back to school.
“I just want to get to see my friends again, we haven’t seen each other for ages,” Dylan said.
Pharmacist Quinn On, who administered Dylan’s vaccine, said he wasn’t expecting the Moderna doses to arrive until next week.
“We were very lucky to have our Moderna vaccines arrive early today, we were expecting them maybe at the end of the week but to get it early today it’s great news,” he said.
“We started ringing up a few of our patients who put their names down for their children and we’ve rung about 11, 12 people so far this morning in the last hour and they’re all happy to come in.”
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved for use in people aged 12 and over. AstraZeneca is approved for use in people aged 18 and older.
Moderna requires two doses, with an optimal interval of four weeks recommended.
One million doses of the vaccine arrived in Australia over the weekend and were quickly sent to COVID hotspots, including suburbs in Western and south-western Sydney.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant repeated the Premier’s call for parents to bring younger teenagers forward for vaccination.
“As the Premier has indicated we have got 20 per cent of 12-to-15-year-olds already vaccinated and there is increasing access to Moderna through pharmacies with is appropriate for that age group and also GPs have Pfizer as well,” she said.
“So I just can echo the Premier’s call for 12- to 15-year-olds to please go forth and get vaccinated ahead of their return to school.”
[Click through to send us your questions about COVID-19]Internet Explorer Channel Network