Booster shot added to NSW vaccination mandate

Changes to vaccination requirements for school staff are aimed at ensuring staff and students remain safe.

NSW Department of Education school-based staff will be required to have a third booster shot under changes to the mandatory vaccination regulations announced by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.

The vaccination mandate change was included as part of new measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 announced on Friday.

It came ahead of today's opening of vaccinations for children aged between 5-11 years old.

NSW Department of Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson said vaccination remained the best way of keeping our school communities safe.

She said school-based staff had responded well to the original vaccination mandate.

“As we prepare for the start of Term 1 our focus remains on keeping our staff and students safe. Adding a booster shot to the vaccination mandate will help maintain confidence that schools are a safe place to learn and work,” Ms Harrisson said.

“As with the initial vaccine mandate we will ensure school-based staff have sufficient time to obtain their booster and I encourage everyone to secure an appointment when their booster is due.”

She said the department was updating its attestation system and would advise staff when they were able to update their records.

The Secretary reassured parents that planning for the start of the 2022 school year was under way with a focus on ensuring the continuity of learning for all students while ensuring staff and student safety.

The extension of the vaccine mandate was the first part of this, she said.

Ms Harrisson also encouraged parents to book their children in for vaccination ahead of the return to school for 2022.

NSW Health advice indicates vaccinations offer excellent protection against COVID-19 in children. Even though COVID-19 in children is often milder than in adults, there is strong evidence to support vaccinating children.

Vaccines give the immune system a helping hand to protect against serious illness and possible long-term effects from COVID-19. Vaccination also helps to protect friends, family and our school community by reducing the spread of the virus. 

The Pfizer children’s vaccine is the approved COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 – 11 years old in Australia. The dose is around 1/3 of the dose for people aged 12 years and older.

Parents and carers of students aged 12 years and above are also reminded to book their children’s Pfizer or Moderna vaccination as soon as possible.

Visit the NSW Government website for more information or talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccination for your child to help you make an informed decision.

Bookings are available from today through the Vaccine Clinic Finder.

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