160 Year 12 Students At St Joseph's College Allowed Pfizer Vaccine

Permitted by NSW Health

Article heading image for 160 Year 12 Students At St Joseph's College Allowed Pfizer Vaccine

There have been revelations Tuesday that NSW Health allowed around 160 Year 12 students from St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill to receive the Pfizer vaccine. 

Multiple sources linked to the situation have come forward with reports that students at the prestigious, boarding high-school for boys, were bussed to a vaccination hub last term to receive their first dose, with their second jabs due when school resumes. 

Questions are being raised as to why the boys were allowed to receive the vaccinations given that the vaccine program is currently rolled out to people ages 40 and over only. 

According to the college’s principal Ross Tarlinton, the school contacted the Sydney Local Health District about the possibility of vaccinations last May, citing that students, of whom the majority are boarders, were from remote, regional as well as Indigenous communities. 

“The approval and administration of the vaccine was endorsed and managed by NSW Health through the Sydney Local Health District,” “The college proceeded to make arrangements for the administration of the approved vaccine at a centre determined by NSW Health." "Acknowledging that the college does not determine vaccination priority, it welcomed the opportunity to offer the vaccine for students given the approvals provided and for the reasons listed above." “The college will continue to encourage and support members of its community to receive the appropriate vaccine as the opportunity arises. St Joseph’s College takes advice from NSW Health and follows public health orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic." “The safety of our school and local community remains a key priority in all college decision-making.”

- St Joseph's College Principal Ross Tarlinton

People aged between 40 to 60, priority groups including health and quarantine frontline workers, the disabled, household contacts and Indigenous people over the age of 16 are officially eligible for the Pfizer shot in NSW. 

150 of the 200 Year 12 students at St Joseph's College are boarders and of the entire student population, four per cent are Indigenous. 

NSW Health was approached for a statement.

While wait times have varied between vaccination hubs, demand for the jab is at an all-time high with some people waiting weeks for their first shot. It’s understood that many Australians may have to wait as late as October just for their first shot.

The news adds to mounting evidence that many people across Sydney are obtaining the vaccination without criteria screening. It was revealed last month that lifeguards, librarians and waste collectors of Waverley Council in Sydney’s east, received their full vaccinations. 

Meanwhile, the vast majority of the 100,000-odd teachers in the public and private school systems across the state are yet to be vaccinated, including teachers at St Joseph’s College.

The NSW Teachers Federation and the Independent Education Union are lobbying to list teachers as a priority group, following concerns the Delta variant is particularly contagious among children. 

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Triple M Newsroom

6 July 2021

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