First youngsters get vaccinations

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Taking a shot...Gore Medical Centre practice nurse Keri McClelland explains the process of receiving a Covid-19 vaccination to her daughter Lucia (11) at the practice on Monday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Covid-19 vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds have begun in Gore.

Gore Medical Centre offered the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the age group from Monday and the Gore Health medical centre started yesterday.

Gore Medical Centre practice nurse Keri McClelland said she had been waiting to have her two younger daughters Lucia (11) and Bridee (8) vaccinated.

“I’m a nurse and a mum.

“It’s nice for me now to have all of my family protected.”

Her 13-year-old Holly had received the vaccine in August.

“At the first available opportunity I have chosen to vaccinate my two younger daughters.”

There would be a clinic at the centre for the next two weeks.

“The public will have an opportunity to get their children vaccinated prior to going back to school.”

She was also part of the team which had vaccinated the practice’s doctors’ children.

While there was no Covid-19 in the community in Gore at present, that could change quickly and it was important children were protected before it came.

“The more people we have vaccinated the spread is less.”

Children needed two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, eight weeks apart.

The vaccine was “normally really well tolerated with minor after-effects similar to other scheduled childhood immunisations”.

Practice manager Petria Falconer said vaccination against Covid-19 was not mandatory for the age group.

“It is really just personal choice.”

She advised people to book online, and said children needed to be accompanied by a legal guardian.

Fifteen children in the age group were vaccinated at the practice on Monday.

Gore Health business manager Rhonda Reid said its practice would also be holding daily clinics for the 5-11 age group.

“For the next two weeks they will be during the day, [and] when school starts, we will run after-school clinics.”

It was hoped to get appointments set up on the Book My Vaccine website.

“In the meantime we have texted all our parents with children that age and asked them to ring for appointments.”

Extra clinics would be scheduled if needed.