While some older Australians are expecting to wait weeks, or even months to receive their jab, NSW Health has allowed year 12 students from St Joseph’s College to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Around 160 students from prestigious private school St Joseph’s College were cleared to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer jab, even though the program has only officially been rolled out to people aged over 40.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, multiple sources said that HSC students were put on a bus from St Joseph’s College to a vaccination centre and received their first shot at the end of last term. They’re due to receive their second shot when the new term starts, which is next Tuesday 13 July.
In response to questions from the SMH, the school’s principal Ross Tarlinton said they asked NSW Health if they could get their students vaccinated since a lot of the boarders are from regional, remote or Indigenous communities.
“The approval and administration of the vaccine was endorsed and managed by NSW Health through the Sydney Local Health District,” the statement from Tarlinton said.
“The college proceeded to make arrangements for the administration of the approved vaccine at a centre determined by NSW Health.”
“Acknowledging that the college does not determine vaccination priority, it welcomed the opportunity to offer the vaccine for students given the approvals provided and for the reasons listed above,” Tarlinton said.
“The college will continue to encourage and support members of its community to receive the appropriate vaccine as the opportunity arises. St Joseph’s College takes advice from NSW Health and follows public health orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The safety of our school and local community remains a key priority in all college decision-making.”
Find someone who loves and protects you like the government loves and protects private school boys. https://t.co/Z4BiA9Xaqq
— Melanie Tait (@MelanieTait) July 6, 2021
Currently, the only people aged under 40 that are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine are frontline workers, people with disabilities and household contacts, and Indigenous people aged over 16.
Considering that we haven’t even vaccinated all aged care workers yet, and less than 40% of Aussies in their 80s and 90s have had the jab, it’s hard to understand why we would prioritise the vaccinations of a bunch of private school boys.
To give this more context, St Joseph’s college is a private Catholic boys school from Sydney’s Lower North Shore where students pay $35,800 a year to attend – or $50,000 a year for boarders.
It turns out the vaccine rollout is a race, but only for the rich.