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Canberra Today 11°/13° | Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Primary education and early childhood staff told to get vaccinated

THE ACT Chief Health Officer has directed full vaccination against COVID-19 for certain staff working across early childhood, ACT primary schools and out-of-school-hours care.

Surrounding the little children with vaccinated people.

The government says this will reassure parents of children under 12 – and particularly vulnerable children – that everything possible is being done to reduce the risk of COVID-19 as the territory goes back to school and early childhood education and care.

The direction covers staff including teachers, early childhood educators, learning and support staff, administrative staff (including building services and general services staff), canteen workers and cleaners who are in direct contact with children, as well as allied health professionals who regularly attend relevant schools. Students on placement at certain education settings will also be included in the requirement.

Under the Chief Health Officer’s direction, first-dose vaccination will be required by no later than November 1 and second dose by no later than November 29.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the decision to require vaccination was supported by the best advice on how to support the return of face-to-face learning for children who were not yet eligible for a vaccination.

“We already know through staff surveys and the total population vaccination rates that we have exceptionally high levels of vaccination in these settings,” he said.

“However, given that children under the age of 12 will be unvaccinated as school starts to return – the strong advice is that all possible measures need to be taken to surround these children with vaccinated people.”


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Ian Meikle, editor

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