Parents urged to get their children vaccinated as ages 5-11 become eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenGreat Southern Herald
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout enters a new phase.
Camera IconThe COVID-19 vaccine rollout enters a new phase. Credit: Matilde Campodonico/AP

Parents across the Great Southern are being urged to get their children vaccinated as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout enters a new phase.

From Monday, children aged between five and 11 are eligible to receive a reduced dosage of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

It is the first time since the COVID-19 vaccinations started last February that those under the age of 12 have been able to be inocculated against the virus.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt is encouraging parents to book an appointment through local GPs, pharmacists and vaccination clinics.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“I am very confident there will be a very high take up but I’d encourage all of the parents to know that the strongest safety protocols have been followed, but it will help protect your child and it will help protect your family,” he said.

Professor of international health at Curtin University Dr Jaya Dantas said some parents would have concerns about getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

“What (they) have to remember is that it is still possible for children to get COVID-19,” she said.

“While many children can be asymptomatic, some children can get severe lung infections and require hospitalisation.

“We’ve had COVID-19 outbreaks in many primary and secondary schools across the world and we know getting vaccinated reduces the spread of COVID-19 as well as preventing other variants from developing.”

St Luke’s Medical Practice in Katanning, Wagin Pharmacy and Wagin General Practice are offering the COVID-19 vaccinations for ages 5-11.

Alongside the age eligibility changes, adults aged 18 years and over can now received a third booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine after only four months.

With the increased demand for vaccines, some local GPs are struggling to keep up.

St Luke’s Medical Practice in Katanning had to halt walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, while bookings at Wagin General Practice are now full until the end of the month.

However, National COVID-19 Taskforce commander Lieutenant-General John Frewen said supply of COVID-19 vaccines was not an issue.

“We’ve got more than enough vaccines for everybody who is eligible,” he said.

“The real challenge in this now is distribution and just making sure that we’re getting the vaccines to where the demand is so that people can get through.”

Lt-Gen. Frewen asked for people to have patience if they cannot immediately get a vaccination booking.

“I’m sure if people try a few different avenues, they’ll be able to get their (vaccinations) pretty quickly.”

According to the Department of Health, more than 95 percent of residents aged 15 years and over in the Shire of Katanning have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

More than 86.1 percent of residents have received at least two doses.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails