School vaccination clinics helping to protect children

More than 200 vaccination clinics opened in schools during Term 1 to help vaccinate children against COVID-19

During Term 1, 2022, 231 mini-vaccination clinics opened in schools across the state to help vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 years against COVID-19.

The Primary Care Vaccinations in Schools Grants program supported doctors and pharmacies to open mini-clinics in schools where students faced access challenges, and in areas with lower rates of COVID-19 vaccination.  

Holding the clinics in schools allowed children to get vaccinated in a familiar and trusted environment close to their home. Many of the clinics also opened to families and the public.

Balwyn Doctors ran 15 clinics in a mix of primary and specialist schools in the northern and eastern Melbourne suburbs.

Paula Davey, Practice Manager at Balwyn Doctors said they were delighted to take part in the program to help families who otherwise may not have been able to access the vaccine. 

'Some families, such as those from overseas, may not have had the local knowledge to know where to get their child vaccinated without the support of their school,' Paula said.

Balwyn Doctors delivered vaccinations to people of all ages at the clinics, not only students from the school.

'Families, siblings of students, people from the local community and teachers all attended for their vaccination,' Paula said.

Balwyn Doctors will revisit the 15 schools in Term 2, 2022, to offer another dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pictured: Nurse Cath Fenton, Practice Manager Paula Davey and Dr Emma Wong from Balwyn Doctors.

Further support to get children vaccinated

The Victorian Government also rolled out 31 vaccination clinics, run by Local Public Health Units, in primary schools.

Supported by the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Training, the clinics were open to everyone in the community, including all children aged 5 to 11 years.

Many school staff, parents and people living in the local communities also attended to receive their first, second or third dose at the clinics.

Many of the clinics featured an Enchanted Forest theme to support children and their families to access vaccinations in a child-friendly setting. Children were also given show bags and colouring-in packs.

Roslyn Primary School exceeds expectations

Roslyn Primary School in Belmont hosted a vaccination clinic, run by Local Public Health Unit Barwon Health, in early February 2022.

School Principal Mary Hutchison said the clinic was a huge success and the attendance exceeded expectations.

'They [Barwon Health] planned for 300 visits in total over the 2 days and close to 800 people turned up,' Mary said.

Mary explained the clinic had reached its day one quota by lunchtime on the Saturday. As a result, Barwon Health increased staffing the next day to reduce wait times.

After some initial questions about the clinic, the school community were happy that the school was hosting it and many of the families attended over the weekend.

The local community was also happy to have the opportunity to have their vaccination so close to home.

'There was a large percentage of older people who attended and they were very appreciative of the clinic being local,' Mary said.

Once the clinic had finished, the school was cleaned and prepared for the students on Monday morning.

Helping children get vaccinated

Having your child vaccinated is the best way to protect your child, your family and school community from further COVID-19 outbreaks and the spread of COVID-19.

While vaccination is not mandatory, parents and carers are strongly encouraged to have their 5 to 11 year old children vaccinated as soon as possible.

By vaccinating your children, you can give them direct protection against COVID-19. Some children can get very sick if they contract COVID-19.

Children can also transmit COVID-19, meaning that vaccination helps reduce transmission to other children and older people, including family members who may be at higher risk, such as grandparents.

The vaccine is one-third of the adult dose and is delivered at 2 appointments, at least 8 weeks apart.

To protect your child and family before winter get  vaccinated as soon as possible. Families can do this by booking through the COVID-19 hotline: 1800 675 398, finding a participating GP, pharmacy or community health service through the Vaccine Clinic Finder or by attending one of the school clinics.

Vaccination centres understand that children may feel anxious about vaccination or have other support needs.

To find out more about the range of options available to help children get vaccinated, visit Vaccination for children and teenagers.

Children with disability

Young people with a disability or special requirements can choose to get vaccinated at a vaccination centre with enhanced features, including onsite hearing augmentation devices and communication tools.

Disability liaison officers help people with a disability to access health services, including vaccinations.

For more information visit Vaccine information for people with a disability or special requirements.

Find out more

For information about how to book a vaccination appointment at participating general practices, pharmacies, state vaccination centres and hubs, or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and other ways of getting your COVID-19 vaccine, visit