Australian state concerned about low child vaccination rate as schools to reopen soon

Authorities in Australia’s state of Queensland are urging eligible children to receive Covid-19 vaccines before the schools’ reopening next week.

On Wednesday, the state reported 9,630 new cases and 16 deaths including a child under the age of 10 underlying serious medical conditions. It sparked calls for more kids to get vaccinated before face-to-face learning at school.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged more families to get their children vaccinated, as increased numbers of cases are expected to be seen due to school reopening next week, Xinhua news agency reported.

In Queensland, 35 per cent of children aged five to 11 were vaccinated, while 75.5 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds have received their first dose, and 67.54 per cent were double vaccinated, which the state’s Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said is “too low.”

“We really do encourage parents to come forward with their young ones and get them vaccinated,” she said.

The state’s Chief Health Officer John Gerrard also said the child vaccine rate has shown “a substantial decline” recently.

The reopening date of Queensland’s schools was postponed from January 24 to February 7 to avoid the previously predicted peak of the Omicron wave.

Authorities hoped the delay could allow more time for children to receive their Covid vaccinations.

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