How nearly 200 students at one of Australia’s most elite private schools have received the PFIZER jab – despite it only being available to over 40s
- St Josephs College confirmed 160 Year 12 students got Covid jab in May
- The pupils were jabbed with Pfizer, otherwise not available for under-40s
- Booked to receive second dose next week when term 3 commences
- Official public advice is under 40s are not eligible at this time for Pfizer
- They can however book for Astra Zeneca, associated with low risks of blood clots
An elite private school secured Pfizer vaccinations for nearly 200 of its students two months ago.
St Joseph’s College at Hunter’s Hill, Australia’s largest boarding school for boys, confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that 160 of its Year 12 students received the vaccine in May.
Because Pfizer is in short supply in Australia, it is not yet available to people under 40.
St Joseph’s College at Hunter’s Hill, Australia’s largest boarding school for boys, confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that 160 of its Year 12 students received the vaccine in May – despite the vaccine not being officially available to under-40s
Australians have been waiting in long queues to receive Covid vaccines, but the Year 12 students from an elite Sydney boys’ school was bussed to a NSW Health venue to receive Pfizer jabs nearly two months ago
Younger Australians can only get the abundant AstraZeneca vaccine via their GPs because the government is prioritising Pfizer jabs for people aged 40 to 60.
Young Australians are not expected to be able to choose their vaccine until at least September.
St Joseph’s College headmaster Ross Tarlinton told Daily Mail Australia the school approached health authorities to enquire about vaccination for students.
It enquired because ‘we have a large number of boys who live in a residential community, which includes boys from rural, remote and indigenous communities’.
The college said NSW Health and Sydney Local Area Health District responded and arranged vaccinations at an approved site.
Mr Tarlinton pointed out the school does not decide who gets what vaccine.
‘Acknowledging that the College does not determine vaccination priority, it welcomed the opportunity to offer the vaccine for students given the approvals provided and for the reasons listed above,’ a statement read.
Mr Tarlinton said he and the college would ‘continue to encourage and support members of its community to receive the appropriate vaccine as the opportunity arises’.
In a major change in the vaccine rollout strategy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week suggested people under 60 could discuss getting Astra Zeneca with their doctor – although it is not advised by medical authorities.
Morrison’s announcement was interpreted as an attempt to speed up Australia’s vaccination rate.
The Federal government’s online vaccine elgibility checker makes it clear that young people who do not meet a narrow criteria – including being frontline healthcare workers or having compromised immune systems – are not eligible for Pfizer.
‘Based on your age, the Pfizer vaccine is recommended for you,’ is the message the vaccine booking system would give, for example, a healthy 22-year-old.
They would then be asked if they wish to be notified of when they could get a Pfizer shot.
Daily Mail Australia approached NSW Health for comment.