The rapid vaccination of young people across the state is being driven by a peer-influenced “domino effect”, according to a senior nursing coordinator.
In NSW, 29.3 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated and 55.2 per cent have received their first jab. In total, 5.5 million doses have been given out.
Mary Ryan, who coordinates a clinical team of vaccine administrators in regional areas of NSW, told Central News people of all ages and backgrounds have been flooding into pop-up vaccination hubs for the past five months, with an increasing number of young people.
“Over the last few days, we had a lot of young tradespeople, both men and women, turning up from the 19 to 35 age group,” she said. “It’s a kind of domino effect… once one young person in a friendship group gets it, the rest think they had better do it too.”
They haven’t waited. A lot of them got AstraZeneca and some got Pfizer… whatever they could get their hands on, they got it.
She said, unlike some sections of the population, there appeared to be little vaccine hesitancy within the younger communities in regional areas.
“They haven’t waited. A lot of them got AstraZeneca and some got Pfizer… whatever they could get their hands on, they got it,” she said.
“What we’re trying to tell people is that there are side effects from both Pfizer and AstraZeneca and that you can get sick from both. Whatever you can get, take it.”
The Federal Government has announced 16-39-year olds will be eligible for the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine from August 30, 2021, after securing 1 million extra doses of Pfizer from Poland.
Dubbed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as “one million doses of hope”, the first shipment of the vaccines arrived in Australia on Sunday, with just over half destined for hotspot areas of NSW.
Among them, 530,000 Pfizer doses are currently being prioritised for individuals aged 16-39 in the 12 LGAs of concern in Sydney, where the outbreak is continuing to spread. The PM said he was confident the doses would begin being dispensed “this week”.
This daily infographic provides the total number of vaccine doses administered in Australia 🇦🇺 as of 17 August 2021
— Australian Government Department of Health (@healthgovau) August 18, 2021
NSW Health said 100,000 mobile workers will receive a COVID-19 vaccination in the coming week , and also confirmed over the next two-and-a-half-weeks selected NSW Health vaccination clinics would be delivering the additional Pfizer doses to 16-39-year olds from LGAs of concern. This priority group can book appointments for Pfizer here.
Recent government data revealed the majority of COVID-19 cases have been contracted by 20-59-year olds, with 20-29-year olds the group with the highest number of reported cases since January 2020.
Rachel Percival, a 22-year-old student from Carlingford in Sydney’s west, said: “They should’ve prioritised the younger population earlier.
“I think it’s necessary, especially considering young people seem to be the ones contracting and spreading [COVID-19] the most.”
The Doherty Institute, the peak research body informing the government on their vaccine rollout, have identified young and working-age adults as “peak transmitters of COVID-19.”
Anyone aged 18 and over is currently eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine upon their consent.
Ms Ryan said: “The thing you have to weigh up is, especially in Sydney at the moment, the risk is so great of getting COVID, especially in the western suburbs and south-western suburbs. They are best to put anything they can get into their arm.”
Main photo of Jayden Meads getting a jab at Macquarie Fields vaccination hub in Sydney. Photo: NSW Health