Students struggle to get the jab

After facing an already difficult period of online learning and delayed milestones, high school students on the Central Coast face further uncertainty over their ability to gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine as face-to-face learning is set to resume from November 8.

7 September 2021


CURRENTLY, students are eligible if they are above 12 years old, and in a listed priority group according to NSW Health guidelines, or are 16 years and older.


However, reports from parents on the Coast suggest that despite their children being eligible on paper, appointments are near impossible to secure in reality.


Tom Schmaltz, school captain at Gosford High School, is concerned that students on the Central Coast come up against significant barriers in acquiring the vaccine while his peers in Sydney are able to get the jab mere days after booking.


“I’ve heard from my friends in Sydney that they are booking their appointments and getting the jab within days, up here some people can’t even get a booking. It feels like the Coast was reclassified as Regional NSW just so that the Premier could ignore us in the vaccine rollout,” said Tom Schmaltz.


This dilemma echoes the point as yet another example of the Berejiklian Government’s Sydney-centric approach in which the needs and concerns of Central Coast residents is seen as an afterthought.


Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch said: “It is incredibly frustrating to finally be recognised as a region by the Berejiklian government, and yet we are not receiving the appropriate resources.”


“Many of our fellow Coasties have reached out to me concerned about their children and particularly our already resilient HSC students who have faced such a stressful year and want to get on with it yet can’t without the assurance of vaccination.”


Mr Schmultz is also worried about how the HSC exams are set to be conducted, with students travelling to his selective high school on the Coast from Sydney.


“I am worried about the fact that for Gosford High HSC students, we’ll be sitting our exams alongside Sydneysiders, it sounds risky.” Tom Schmaltz said.


Although there are delays in vaccination, and the frustration in trying to book an appointment is disappointing, residents are encouraged to keep trying.


“If we’ve learnt one thing in lockdown it is perseverance, so please keep up the effort and try to get the vaccine as soon as possible. On my end, I will be persevering in getting the Liberal Government to listen to us and to meet our needs in increasing the availability of Pfizer vaccines for our students,” said Liesl Tesch.

Grapevine News Online

Central Coast NSW

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