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14 January, 2022

Children from 5 to 11 are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

SINCE Monday, January 10, anyone aged five years and over is now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine at all Cairns and Tablelands clinics, including Cairns’ newest COVID-19 vaccine hub, which opens on January 17.

Left to Right : Naseli Kyle-Smith, Zamarys Andrews and Aaroshon Tyson all received their fifirst COVID jab today at the Workshop Street Clinic in Yarrabah.

The latest update in eligibility for children coincides with the shift of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service main vaccine hub from the Cairns Convention Centre to The Pier shopping centre. 

CHHHS Executive Director Dr Don Mackie clarified how the vaccination process would be for children to ease the minds of concerned parents. 

“To be fully vaccinated, a person must have two doses of the same vaccine,” he said. 

“For children aged 5-11 years, the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered eight weeks after the first dose.

“Children aged 5-11 years will receive a smaller dose (10 microgram dose) of the Pfizer vaccine.” 

Dr Mackie said they were expecting an influx of patients aged 5-11 for the COVID-19 vaccine at the new clinic. 

“We will keep the Convention Centre site open until January 22 to allow our teams to transition to The Pier,” he said. 

“Our new site at The Pier is easily accessible and with ample parking.” 

“We have been very thankful to the Cairns Convention Centre for housing our main vaccination hub since September.” 

CHHHS COVID-19 vaccine program director, Kelly Pollock, said staff were well experienced administering vaccines to children. 

“Our vaccinators have been providing vaccines for infants, under the National Immunisation Program for decades, to protect infants against vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella,” she said. 

Eli Doumani, 11, receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Cairns Convention Centre

“The COVID-19 vaccine is another jab for our littlies, and we always take the greatest care with them.”

With the rollout for children now available throughout Queensland, Yarrabah also prompts vaccination for kids before returning to school in February. 

Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service GP, Dr Peter Roach, encourages all Yarrabah parents to bring their children in to receive their first dose. 

“Some children have an increased risk from COVID-19; these include children with an underlying medical condition,” Dr Roach said. 

“Children living in crowded conditions have an increased risk from COVID-19. 

“We need to protect our families, communities and future.” 

Yarrabah residents can have their children vaccinated at the Bukki Road or Workshop Street Clinic. No appointment is necessary, walk-in vaccinations are available. 

Ms Pollock said people could still get vaccinated at other clinics across the region, including their rural facilities at Innisfail, Atherton, Mareeba, and Mossman. 

“You can also get your vaccine at a wide range of local GPs and pharmacies,” she said. 

Cairns and Yarrabah residents can find the closest vaccine location and details at the Queensland Health website

You can register for an appointment or walk in.

Lucy McDonnell, 10, receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Cairns Convention Centre

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