Kids roll up their sleeves for the COVID-19 jab

First dose: Noah, 11, receives his first COVID-19 vaccination on January 10. Picture: Supplied

First dose: Noah, 11, receives his first COVID-19 vaccination on January 10. Picture: Supplied

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

The vaccination mandate change was included as part of new measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 announced on January 7.

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 school communities safe.

She said school-based staff 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."

Even though COVID-19 in children is often milder than in adults, there is strong evidence to support vaccinating children.

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.

Noah, 11, of Sylvania Waters, got his first COVID-19 vaccination on January 10 at Miranda Medical Centre.

The Scot's College Brighton Preparatory student was eager to get the jab.

"He was the only one in our house waiting for approval so he was very excited," his mother Renee Jones said.

"He was originally booked at St George Hospital. I booked as soon as they released it. But I got an earlier spot on HotDoc."

She posted a photo of her son getting vaccinated on the COVID-19 Sutherland Shire Community Group on Facebook.

"I'm the admin of the group and I want people to have that conversation," she said. "I hope by sharing his photo I can support people who are unsure or uncertain in the community. He's been awesome."

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) will be made available for the roughly 720,000 children in that age group across NSW.

"More than 18,000 kids aged five to 11 have caught COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, which highlights why vaccination is so important," Mr Perrottet said.

"We saw a great vaccination response for children aged 12-15 years, so we hope parents will book in their younger children before they start or go back to school."

Children aged five to 11 will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine in a range of centres and local community settings including general practitioners, community pharmacies, NSW Health clinics and other providers such as Aboriginal Medical Services.

Bookings can be made at a NSW Health clinic, GP or pharmacy via the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.

This story Kids roll up their sleeves for the COVID-19 jab first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.