Children’s vaccinations ready to roll at McIntosh Centre

Vaccination centre for children

The first doses of coronavirus vaccines will be given to children aged five to 11 from Wednesday at a redecorated Goulburn Valley Health vaccination hub at Shepparton’s McIntosh Centre.

Now with animal cut-outs, cartoon wallpaper and hopscotch on the floor, the entry and vaccination pods are looking more child-friendly and welcoming.

A low-sensory room with a dimmable light and more comfortable couch has also been set up for children with ADHD or autism or those who need a quieter space.


The first doses of coronavirus vaccines will be given to children aged five to 11 from Wednesday at a redecorated Goulburn Valley Health vaccination hub at Shepparton’s McIntosh Centre.

Now with animal cut-outs, cartoon wallpaper and hopscotch on the floor, the entry and vaccination pods are looking more child-friendly and welcoming.

A low-sensory room with a dimmable light and more comfortable couch has also been set up for children with ADHD or autism or those who need a quieter space.

GV Health COVID-19 vaccination program manager Alynda Wayman said there had been “an incredible amount of work” to get the facility ready for children’s doses.

 

Vaccination centre for children
Familiar sight: Decorations aim to make the vaccination process more comfortable for children. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

There are 18,000 children across the Goulburn Valley Health public health unit area who are now eligible for doses, with some pharmacies and GPs offering jabs from as early as Monday, pending supply.

Ms Wayman said the updated bookings for children’s vaccinations had been “really great”, with bookings filled out for the first few days.

She said it was an age group of children who traditionally did not get vaccinated.

“We obviously vaccinate our babies and we’ve been vaccinating adults, but these five to 11-year-olds don’t normally get vaccinated,” Ms Wayman said.

 

Vaccination centre for children
Friends: GV Health COVID-19 vaccination program manager Alynda Wayman with some of the cardboard cut-out creatures at GV Health. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

“We want to make sure that it’s not frightening, that it’s a good experience as much as it can be.”

She said there had “rigorous” national, state and local training had been delivered as well as on-site and webinar training, but there was still a need to have more staff trained to keep up with demand.

The vaccine was approved for children before Christmas by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and Ms Wayman said it was “very safe”.

 

Vaccination Centre for Children
Inviting: One of the vaccination pods set up for children at GV Health. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

“We’ve given millions of doses across the world and we have got very, very few reactions,“ she said.

“Those reactions too are mainly a little bit of redness at the side, you know, a bit of a fever and a little bit of muscle aches.

“That’s typical of any vaccine, so it’s been proven very safe.”

 

Vaccination Centre for Children
Bookings are essential. Phone 1800 675 398 (and select options 1-1-1), or online bookings can be made from January 14 at https://cvms.powerappsportals.com


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Vaccination Centre for Children
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