Maari Ma rolls out kids jabs

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation are administering COVID-19 vaccinations for children in the Broken Hill area.

The health service began its immunisation program a few weeks ago, aiming to inoculate about 300 kids aged 5-11 locally and in Wilcannia.

Nola Whyman, Executive Operations Officer for Maari Ma Health, said all systems to complete the rollout are in place.

“We are making sure we have all our processes in place to make sure it’s safe, and it runs smoothly for all our families that come through our service,” she said.

Since it started, Mrs Whyman said the process has run smoothly and encourages parents to ask as many questions as possible if they have any concerns.

“We encourage all mums and dads that want to know more about the (Covid-19) vaccine to please have a conversation with your health provider,” she said.

Vaccinations for the age group will start in Wilcannia on February 7.

Appointment lengths will depend on the number of children. After the jab, staff will observe the children for 15 minutes before leaving.

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“Families may have two or three children, so we’d like bookings but talk to your health provider again to see what is best going to suit your family needs,” Mrs Whyman said.

Maari Ma Chef Executive Officer Bob Davis hoped as many children as possible would come forward for the jab.

“Evidence shows that vaccination offers excellent protection against COVID-19 in young children,” he said.

“The Pfizer vaccine is approved for that age group and the dose is around a third of the dose for those aged 12 years and older.

“Children will receive two doses of the vaccine eight weeks apart – if kids have previously had COVID, they can get a vaccine once they recover.”

Mrs Whyman thanked the staff and said the children had been very cooperative.

“The children have been absolutely fantastic,” she said.

“The nurses are absolutely wonderful with them, very encouraging, answering all questions and being able to engage, so they are not afraid of what’s coming up.”

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Parents can book their children in for vaccination by calling 8082 9777.

Maari Ma Health is located at 439-443 Argent Street, Broken Hill.

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