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'Vax dates': Young urged to get jab in secret

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Jan 2022, 2:56pm

'Vax dates': Young urged to get jab in secret

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Jan 2022, 2:56pm

A Victorian government-funded youth body has created a TikTok video encouraging teenagers to go on "vax dates" to get the Covid-19 vaccine without their parents' permission. 

The video by the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVIC) features two teenage girls who go on a post-lockdown date to see a movie – but when asked to show their vaccination certificate, one says "my parents haven't let me get vaccinated yet". 

"I mean, you're over 14. You don't actually need to get their permission," the other girl says. "Wanna go do it now – go on a vax date?" 

"That sounds fun," the girl replies. 

"After googling 'vaccine clinic finder', they found their nearest clinic," the video text reads. 

@yacvic Pro tip: if you're over 14, you can have your own Medicare card and consent to getting vax'd #LiveLoveJab #covidaustralia ♬ original sound - YACVic

The girl then gets her Covid-19 vaccine, and the pair skip out of the clinic holding hands. "Live, Love, Jab for more cute dates in your life," the video says. 

The caption reads, "Pro tip: if you're over 14, you can have your own Medicare card and consent to getting vax'd." 

A number of states including Victoria and NSW have removed parental consent requirements for young people in a bid to increase vaccination rates among 12- to 15-year-olds. 

In Victoria, children aged under 11 still require parental consent to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, but "people aged 12 to 17 may provide their own consent, if deemed to be a mature minor by a senior and experienced immuniser. 

"That means a health professional assesses whether someone in this age group understands the information relevant to the decision to be vaccinated and the effect of that decision," the Coronavirus Victoria website says. 

Similarly, NSW has eased guidelines to allow young teenagers to consent to the Covid-19 jab without a parent or guardian's permission at state hubs. 

NSW Health told The Sydney Morning Herald last week the change brought vaccination rules in line with consent guidelines in place in other health settings. 

"It is to ensure a small number of children, aged 14 and 15, who may have difficulty getting consent can have the opportunity to get vaccinated," a spokesperson said. 

YACVIC describes itself as "the peak body and leading policy advocate for young people and the youth sector in Victoria", which receives its core funding from the Victorian government's Office for Equality and Youth. 

The Office for Equality and Youth, formerly under the Department of Premier and Cabinet, was brought under the newly created Department of Families, Fairness and Housing in February last year. 

Just over three-quarters of children aged 12 to 15 in Australia, or 933,566 people, are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to federal Health Department figures published Sunday. 

More than one million, or nearly 82 per cent, have received their first dose. 

- by Frank Chung, news.com.au