Bookings for COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5-11 are now available at various locations across Gippsland, including at participating general practices (GPs), pharmacies and state-run community vaccination centres.
The commencement of this vaccination program provides an opportunity for all children aged 5 to 11 to receive at least one vaccine dose before they return to school, and their second dose before the end of Term 1 2022.
Vaccination is not mandatory to attend school, but it is highly encouraged to keep all children and their families safe.
For information about BRHS’ COVID vaccination and testing clinic at Lucknow Memorial Hall, visit brhs.com.au/Coronavirus
Answers to questions you may have:
The Gippsland Region Public Health Unit (GRPHU) has put together some common questions and answers that may help in preparing for a child’s immunisation.
When will COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5-11 be available?
Victoria’s community vaccination centres are ready to deliver these vaccines. Online bookings are made at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/book-your-vaccine-appointment
People can also make an appointment by calling 1800 675 398 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.
Please note: To book online, you will need to register an account for your child using an email address that is not already registered on the system. This could be a new or alternative email address used by you or your child.
What vaccine will my child receive?
Children aged 5-11 will be eligible to receive the Cominarty (Pfizer) COVID vaccination.
This will involve two doses given eight weeks apart.
The dose that will be given to children in this age group is a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine that is given to adults.
What if my child will turn 12 before the second dose is due?
If your child is under 12 years of age at their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination they will receive the paediatric dose.
If they turn 12 prior to the administration of the second dose then they will receive the adult dose for this second vaccination.
What are the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for my child?
Most children who contract COVID-19 have mild symptoms only. A small proportion of children can develop more serious symptoms.
This risk of more serious disease is greater in children with underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease, congenital heart disease, neurological disease, obesity and immune-compromise.
Occasionally, children with no underlying medical conditions can become seriously unwell with COVID-19 infection.
Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in preventing serious illness from the infection in children in this age group.
Vaccination will help to reduce the risk of your child getting sick from COVID-19 and therefore also reduce the risk of interruption to their normal lives in terms of absence from school and other associated activities.
Vaccination will also help to reduce the risk of your child transmitting the virus to others, including family members who may be more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection.
What are the risks of vaccination for my child?
Common side effects are similar to those experienced with any childhood vaccinations andinclude pain and redness at the injection site, tiredness, headaches, fevers and chills.
Less commonly, children may experience joint pains, muscle pains and vomiting. These side effects are generally mild and only last 1-2 days.
Please arrange an appointment with your GP to discuss vaccination for your child should you have any further questions or concerns.
What to bring
For information on what to bring to a vaccine appointment please visit:
Support for students with disability or special requirements
There is extra support for students with disabilities and specialist requirements to access COVID-19 vaccinations.
Parents of children with disability who need extra assistance to access a vaccination shouldcontact specialist Disability Liaison Officers who can help make the process easier at: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-information-people-disability
Contact information for BRHS’ Disability Liaison Officer is at: https://brhs.com.au/visitor-information/information-for-patients/disability-liaison-officer/