ISLHD clinics join junior COVID vaccine roll out

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) is pleased to see vaccinations for children aged five-11 start today, with parents and carers urged to book their children an appointment as soon as possible.

Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery and Clinical Governance Deborah Cameron said both the Mass Vaccination Centre in Wollongong and the Shoalhaven Hospital Vaccination Clinic will start vaccinating children aged five to 11 this week, with dedicated days set aside for the age group.

“We have capacity for around 200 vaccines for children aged five to 11 each day and we’ve already seen a terrific response from local parents making appointments for their children,” Ms Cameron said.

“At this stage, we have bookings available from early February and parents can also call the Vaccination Clinic booking line on 1300 096 365, during business hours, to be put on a waiting list in the event of cancellations.”

Bookings for children aged five to 11 can be made on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at the Mass Vaccination Centre and on Fridays at the Shoalhaven Hospital Clinic. Given the more specialised nature of vaccinating children, there is no walk-in capacity for this aged group and vaccination is by appointment.

“Our team of amazing staff have gone out of their way to make our youngest people being vaccinated feel as calm and comfortable as possible when they come to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Ms Cameron said.

“Staff at the Wollongong centre donned some fun attire including wigs and colourful clothes to welcome those coming forward for their vaccine and ease any nerves.”

Children aged five to 11 will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine in a range of centres and local community settings including general practitioners, community pharmacies, NSW Health clinics and other providers such as Aboriginal Medical Services.

Bookings can be made at a NSW Health clinic, GP or pharmacy via the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder. People booking into the District’s clinics at Wollongong or Shoalhaven can also phone 1300 096 365 (during business hours) to make a booking.

Image above: staff at the Mass Vaccination Centre gear up for the arrival of children today.

Image below: ISLHD Head of Anaesthetics, Dan Hernandez’s daughters Johanna (on left – recently turned 12) and Laura (10) were among the first children in the 5-11 age bracket to receive their vaccinations today at the Wollongong Mass Vaccination Centre.

Dr Hernandez said the girls understood the importance of being vaccinated and said staff made sure the experience was as comfortable as possible.

“We have been talking about vaccinations for a while now with the girls, so they understand it’s something we all need to be doing to help us get back to living normally, including going back to school,” Dr Hernandez said.

“Being vaccinated also means they don’t have to worry so much about getting sick, if they happen to get COVID.”

Children get vaccinated at Mass Vaccination Centre in Wollongong

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