Government must fast-track vaccine for at risk children as school start approaches

Tasmanian Labor

As the new school year fast
approaches the Gutwein Government should be fast-tracking COVID vaccinations
for immunocompromised children based on the advice of ATAGI and in line with
other jurisdictions.

Shadow Health Minister Anita
Dow said earlier this month ATAGI recommended the interval between the first
and second dose could be shortened to a minimum of 3 weeks for children aged
five to 11 years from higher risk groups such as those with medical risk
factors for severe illness.

“Why is Tasmania once again
the last jurisdiction to act?” Ms Dow said.

“The Liberal Government was
also the last to act on a shorter interval period for booster shots while other
states acted quickly.

“Other states have already
introduced the three week interval and it’s crucial that the Gutwein Government
should be doing everything possible to ensure that all children are given
protection with the start of the school year just 12 days away.

“Tasmania’s first dose
vaccination rate among five to 11 year olds is only 44 per cent and it is even
lower in regions like the North West where the rate is as low as 32 per cent.

“The fact is we are running
out of time before children return to school and Health Minister Jeremy
Rockliff needs to be pulling out all stops to ensure children have the
opportunity to be vaccinated.

“Parents need better
information from the government and they need more action.

“Community pharmacists should be involved
particularly in rural and regional areas and giving them the ability to administer the vaccine would
lift vaccination rates.

“The start of the school year is almost upon families and Mr Rockliff should be working with and supporting parents to ensure all Tasmanian children no matter where they live have access to vaccinations.”

Anita Dow MP

Shadow Health Minister

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