The National Vaccine Strategy should be adapted to reflect the changing nature of the pandemic, which is increasingly putting young people and casual workers at risk, the Greens have said.
The Greens also welcome the decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to provisionally approve the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged between 12 to 15 years old. This decision was made following careful evaluation of the available data supporting safety and efficacy.
Quotes attributable to the Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP:
“If you’re leaving school, at Uni, or starting your first job, Scott Morrison’s failure to ensure you can get vaccines is stealing some of the best years of your life,” Mr Bandt said.
“Not only are we seeing a generation facing cuts to wages, lost gap years and travel, and diminished job opportunities, but the Delta strain of COVID is now tearing through young, casual workers. Young people have already borne the economic burden of the pandemic and we can’t let them also suffer lifelong health impacts from Scott Morrison’s failure to secure enough vaccines.
“It’s not enough to simply approve a vaccine for young people, they need to be able to get it in their arms.
“The Delta Strain is affecting the nature of the pandemic spread. Increasingly, young people are at risk of hospitalisation from the virus, and working in casual work only increases the risk.
“We need to increase supply and update the National Vaccination Strategy to make sure that younger people, especially casual workers in South-West Sydney, have access to life-saving vaccines.
“This can’t come at the expense of people who are in other states and desperately seeking their own vaccinations. Scott Morrison has chosen to put our fate in the hands of big drug corporations instead of a publicly owned vaccine manufacturer, so the PM needs to get the CEO of Pfizer on the phone straight away and get more vaccines in Australia urgently.”
Quotes attributable to the Greens Health Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert:
“We know that vaccinating children is an essential part of our pathway to achieving herd immunity and preventing outbreaks of COVID-19 in Australia,” Greens Health Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“The recent spread of Delta in some schools in NSW and Victoria has demonstrated we need to keep children safe from contracting COVID-19.”
“While this decision by the TGA is welcome, it will be some time before children over 12 are protected from COVID-19 due to our limited supplies of Pfizer. The Government must do whatever it can to bring forward our supply of Pfizer and continue to investigate the safety of other vaccines, such as Moderna and Novavax, for use in children.”
“I urge the Government to support calls from NSW for Pfizer to be made available for essential workers under 40 in South Western Sydney.”