Action – Read & Share: Do COVID Vaccination Centres belong in schools?
A report from the Grattan Institute (here and PDF here) is proposing to use school vaccination centres to achieve Covid 19 vaccination targets as vaccines are approved for school age children. This raises a number of considerations.
- There are currently no child deaths in Australia directly related to Covid. The risk to children from the disease is very low. The Report states at page 27 that children have a very low risk of serious illness from Covid but they can transmit the virus. It also states that cases of long Covid in children are rare.
- Should the risk of Covid transmission from children to adults remove parents’ choice in relation to children being vaccinated?
- Schools around Victoria have been circulating a letter to parents of VCE students in which they state that the State Government aims to fully vaccinate all final year students by the time they sit their end of year exams and provide at least one dose for children aged 12 and older by the end of the school year.
- The Report was prepared by independent think tank the Grattan Institute in consultation with the Victorian and Federal Governments. So, while it may be the case now that the youngest members of our community are not required to be vaccinated against Covid, the constant moving of goalposts by State and Federal Governments would certainly seem to suggest that nothing is off the table. If they adopt the Grattan Institute’s recommendations for reaching 80% vaccination rates, and vaccines are approved for younger children, a drive to vaccinate children against C19 at school is a very real possibility in the near future.
- If children are to be vaccinated primarily to reduce the risk of Covid transmission from children to adults, should this risk remove a parents’ choice in relation to their child being vaccinated?
- Vaccinating children against Covid is a very divisive topic and vaccination centres in schools are likely to create a focal point for these opposing views. Will this be divisive and disruptive for schools, adding to the stressful situation endured over the last 18 months?
- Are school principals and all other school staff aware of their personal legal, ethical, and moral liability in relation to vaccination of minors?
- Will participation in the vaccination program expose schools to liability?
As a parent if you agree with these concerns, SKIP Australia encourages you to download our Positions Statement (here) and cover letter template (here) to assist you to refer this topic in writing to your child’s School Board or School Council to inform them with haste. Note: The cover letter simply references the Position Statement, so you do not have to add any additional text but feel free to do so if you wish.
Our recommended contact list contains State and Federal MP’s, Premiers, Chief Health Officers, TGA, Australian Medical Association and Australian Nursing and Midwifery Association.
We also request that you forward this Bulletin to as many people as possible so that they can do the same. We understand that these topics are highly emotive, but we request that you remain civil in all correspondence.
Grattan Institute – Race to 80: our best shot at living with COVID – Duckett S, Wood D, Coates B, Mackey W, Crowley T and Stobart A. (2021)
Skip Australia – SKIP_Covid19_PositionStatement – Why SKIP is concerned about the push to vaccinate children in schools