The government has strongly encouraged final year students to get vaccinated before exams start in early October.
The Victorian Government has declared that vaccinating Year 12 students for COVID-19 is a priority, wanting all final-year students to be vaccinated before they start sitting exams on 4 October.
Mr Merlino strongly encouraged Year 12 students and their teachers to get vaccinated, although he did not say this was mandatory or a condition of sitting their exams.
His comments followed this week’s announcement by the Premier, making people aged 16 and over eligible for vaccines.
Mr Merlino said there would not be‘repercussions’ if families did not want their child vaccinated, and all students who were scheduled to sit exams would do so.
The minister also encouraged teachers to book vaccinations. He said achieving the government’s aim also depended on vaccine supply and the time lapse between doses.
He said the government also wanted all children aged 12 and over to be able to have received one dose by the end of the year – subject to the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the availability of vaccine supply.
Advice from the Department of Education and Training
In a message to government schools and shared with Independent Schools Victoria, the department has ‘strongly encouraged’ final year students to receive the vaccine, either at a government hub or through a general practitioner.
Staff who will be attending invigilating end-of-year exams were also urged to immediately make an appointment, for their own protection and for the protection of the community, colleagues and students.
The department strongly encouraged all VCE teachers to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
All students aged 16 and older can book a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at state vaccination centres and from 30 August through their general practitioner or pharmacist.
Students can book their own appointment and consent to vaccination themselves if the health professional assesses them to be a mature minor.
Eligible students and their parents or guardians should speak to their doctor or pharmacist if they have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and their health.
School staff and students can book or change a vaccination appointment at a state vaccination centre through the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine online booking system.
From 30 August, people aged 16-39 can get a COVID-19 vaccine at a doctor’s clinic, pharmacy or community health service. You can find a participating doctor, pharmacy or community health service through the Australian Government Eligibility Checker. You can book your appointment online or by calling the vaccine provider nearest to you.
To find a vaccination centre and opening times, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.
For information on what to bring to a vaccine appointment staff and students visit Checklist: before your COVID-19 vaccination.