Government needs to take responsibility and address low NW child vaccination rates

Tasmanian Labor

Rather than put the onus on parents to help lift low COVID vaccination rates among 5 to 11 year olds in the state’s North West, the Gutwein Government should be coming up with a broad suite of options for parents to get their children vaccinated as the school year fast approaches

Shadow Health Minister Anita Dow said with only 32 per cent of North West children having now received their first dose, it was not good enough for Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff to call on mums and dads to take their children to Public Health clinics or their local GP at a time when appointments were rare.

“Mr Rockliff is overlooking the fact that some families have limited access to clinics and GPs and that it may be impossible for them to travel to get their children vaccinated,” Ms Dow said.

“Mr Rockliff needs to come good on his repeated claims that Tasmania was ready when the Gutwein Government opened the border to COVID more than five weeks ago.

“If thorough preparation had been done, families would have greater access and that low vaccination rate would be higher.

“The government still hasn’t responded to sensible calls to utilise Tasmania’s pharmacy network to help roll out COVID vaccines for five to 11-year olds.

“Giving pharmacists the ability to administer the vaccine would be a game changer in lifting vaccination rates, especially in rural and regional areas where fewer clinic appointments are available.

“Other jurisdictions have already put this plan in place and the government hasn’t provided any reason why Tasmania could not follow.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy staff have done a great job in keeping Tasmanians safe during this pandemic and it makes no sense for the government not to be answering their call to help with paediatric vaccinations.

“The start of the school year is just two weeks away 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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