26 September 2023

Parents say ‘yes’ to kids’ online jabs

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NSW Health has launched a new tool to help parents and carers stay on top of their child’s school vaccinations as the new academic year gets under way.

Welcoming Health’s new online portal, the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard said the portal would allow parents to consent to their child being vaccinated in the free NSW School Vaccination Program.

“The new online portal will help NSW Health to streamline registrations for all school-based vaccinations by removing any chance of parental consent forms getting lost or damaged in school bags, or forgotten,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Parents are also strongly encouraged to access any missed vaccines through their GP and pharmacist immunisers”

He said the reminder comes as recent changes to the National Immunisation Program have reduced the HPV vaccination schedule to a single dose for the majority of people aged under 25.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic has caused some disruption to the usually high take-up rates of HPV jabs, so the new school year is the perfect time to get back on track,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Before COVID-19, around 85 per cent of students were vaccinated against HPV each year but that has fallen in 2022 with 71 per cent of males and 75 per cent of females in Year 7 being vaccinated,” he said.

“So, 2023 is our chance to lift those rates again.”

NSW Health Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant urged parents to use the portal to ensure their kids were up to date with their school vaccinations to help keep them safe.

“The benefits of vaccination against HPV are greatest when given before exposure to the virus, which is why we offer vaccination to all students in Year 7,” Dr Chant said.

“The change to a single dose is based on advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), which has considered the latest international scientific and clinical evidence showing a single dose gives comparable protection against HPV infection in healthy young people.”

NSW Health’s online consent portal can be accessed at this PS News link and further information on the NSW School Vaccination Program at this link.

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