Parents and carers can call and schedule a COVID-19 vaccination for five to 11-year-olds from today. Appointments are available from 10 January 2022.
Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said bookings were opening well in advance so the ACT will be ready to roll as soon as vaccine supply arrives in the new year.
“I know many Canberra parents are very keen to get their children vaccinated so they are better protected from the effects of COVID-19,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.
“If a parent or carer is eligible for their booster, they can book that in at the same time their child or children are being vaccinated.”
The ACT Government estimates there are about 46,000 children aged five to 11 in the Territory who will be able to access a vaccine.
Due to the age of the individuals being vaccinated, online bookings are not available, but parents can call the COVID-19 vaccination booking line on 5124 7700 between 7 am and 7 pm, seven days a week.
“While children are less likely to suffer the more severe effects of COVID-19, we’ve seen children becoming infected with the coronavirus during the current outbreak and transmitting the virus to others,” Ms Stephen-Smith noted.
“The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for five to 11 year-olds has been approved and recommended as a safe and effective vaccine, but if parents and carers have questions about COVID-19 vaccinations for their children, they should talk to their trusted health professional.”
COVID-19 vaccinations for five to 11 year-olds will also be available through some GPs and pharmacists in the ACT.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommended that children receive one-third of the dose given to those 12 years and over.
Two vaccine doses are recommended, but the dosing interval is eight weeks rather than three. This can be dropped in outbreak circumstances or other situations, such as before domestic travel, ATAGI said.
Nationwide, more than two million children will become eligible for vaccination from January.
Ms Stephen-Smith foreshadowed this announcement after the Therapeutic Goods Administration and ATAGI provisionally approved Pfizer for children earlier this month.
ACT Government vaccination clinics will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period.
The AIS Arena clinic will close at 3: 30 pm on Friday, 24 December, and reopen on Tuesday, 4 January 2022 at 8 am.
The Access and Sensory clinic will close from 3:30 pm on Tuesday, 21 December and reopen on Tuesday, 4 January 2022 at 8:30 am.