Five-year-old Georgia Leat was all smiles when she visited Echuca Regional Health’s Echuca vaccination clinic with her mum Brianna Leat.
The vaccination room is filled with child-friendly decorations and pictures of animals to help make the kids feel safe and comfortable throughout the process.
Georgia bravely received her COVID-19 vaccination while sitting on her mum’s lap, without a single tear being shed.
Ms Leat said she and Georgia had talked about the vaccine “a lot’’, which helped Georgia understand what was coming and why she was having an injection.
Ms Leat said Georgia would be heading off to her first year of school this year, and she wanted to make sure that she was protected from coronavirus.
Georgia will need to return for her second dose in eight weeks’ time.
Ms Leat said she and her husband made the decision about vaccination together.
“It’s about weighing up the risks and benefits, and making the right decision for your family.”
Aside from being a mum, Ms Leat is also the pharmacy deputy director at ERH. She is responsible for gathering the statistics of vaccinations each week.
Ms Leat said she knew many parents in the community that were asking opinions on Facebook, which she said was to great to see as it was important that everyone was doing their own research.
“I believe in the vaccines, as a pharmacist, and I just want to make sure our kids are protected,” Ms Leat said.
“For me personally, it’s the risk of COVID versus protection.
“Of course there are going to be parents who are hesitant, particularly parents who were unwell when they received their own doses,” Ms Leat said.
The vaccine for children is a diluted version of the vaccine for adults.
The kids’ vaccine is 0.2ml and 10 doses can be obtained per vial, whereas the adult vaccine is 0.3ml, which means a vial can deliver six doses.
Children over the age of 12 years receive an adult vaccine.
At the Echuca clinic, the adult vaccinations are scheduled at different times to the child vaccinations, so as to keep the two types separate from each other.
This also gives ERH more space to be able to monitor people for 15 minutes after their jab.
There are 100 available doses of children’s vaccines a week at ERH. As a result, the health service is only offering 100 kids’ bookings a week.
Next week, the children’s vaccination clinic is fully booked, but there are appointments available in following weeks.
Bookings for the kids’ vaccination clinic are online at https://erh.org.au/covid-19-vaccinations/