Question without notice: COVID-19 vaccinations for years 11 & 12 students
Tuesday 21 September 2021
Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
Mr President, I realise the situation may have changed since I raised the issue. Regarding a media release from the Minister for Health issued on 22 August 2021 it had been advised that a COVID-19 vaccination clinic would be organised for years 11 and 12 students from Elizabeth College, which can also be accessed by year 11 and 12 students at Ogilvie and New Town.
(1) Can the Leader please advise when we can expect to see a similar clinical arrangement in the north and north-west of the state? I believe this is already underway.
(2) On what basis was it decided to begin these clinics for young people in the state's south when the health outcomes are poorer and the health needs are arguably greater in the state's north and north-west?
Mr President, I thank the member for her question. I will read the answer because it is important to know what is going on. The statewide in-reach COVID-19 school vaccination program is in the process of being rolled out statewide with a priority focus on years 11 and 12. The program is currently on track to complete first doses to participating schools in all regions and across the public, Catholic and independent sectors by the end of this term, on 25 September.
Face-to-face meetings were held with schools across the state to confirm dates, agree on a suitable and safe vaccination area at each school, and explain the vaccination process. It has been pleasing that schools have worked together across the public, Catholic and independent sectors to maximise the opportunity for students by either participating as host or guest schools. The COVID-19 school vaccination program commenced in the south in several colleges near the Tasmanian Vaccination Emergency Operations Centre in Hobart. Additional time was required to recruit immunisers in the north and north-west to run the schools program without disrupting the wider vaccination program.
Eligible students do not need to wait for the clinics in schools; they can also attend community clinics. There's a full list of the schools here, which I'll read out. The second dose is complete at Elizabeth College and participating extension schools. First doses are completed at: Claremont College and participating extension schools; Hobart College and participating extension schools; Rosny College and participating extension schools; Launceston College and participating extension schools; Don College and participating extension schools; Hellyer College and participating extension schools; Guilford Young College; St Marys College; the Indie School Hobart; and the Launceston Christian School.
First doses are underway at: Newstead College and participating extension schools; the Hutchins School; and Southern Support School. Dates for first vaccinations are scheduled for: Marist Regional College; St Brendan-Shaw College; St Patrick's College; Calvin Christian School; Fahan School; St Michael's Collegiate; Southern Christian College; North West Christian School; One School Global Hobart; the Friends School; Scotch Oakburn College; Northwest Support School; Geneva Christian College; Northern Support School; Launceston Church Grammar School; Capstone College; One School Global Kings Meadows; Leighland Christian School; Ulverstone Secondary College; and Indie School Devonport.
The Department of Health discussed vaccinations with Circular Head Christian School and St Francis Flexible Learning Centre, and is exploring future options for these schools. Mountain High School and eSchool students are receiving correspondence in conjunction with the Department of Education about the best way for their school students to access vaccinations.
A further option for young people aged 12 and over are youth clinics which will be held on the following weekends: in Launceston - Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 October at the Door of Hope Centre in South Launceston; in Hobart - Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October at PW1 on Hobart's waterfront; in Burnie - Saturday 9 October at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre; and in Devonport - Saturday 23 October at the Devonport Surf Life Saving Club.
Young people booking into a youth clinic attend on the day with their parent or guardian and encourage them to jointly complete their consent form on the day.
Finally, any students aged 12 and over can also continue to attend our community clinics. Community clinics continue to be rolled out across the state and members here in this House are asked to encourage all of their constituents who have not yet participated in the vaccination program to please make appointments and to do so.