NSW authorities are finally keen on getting young people vaccinated as the outbreak concentrated in southwestern Sydney continues to grow. On Friday, 136 new cases were announced in the state.

At the daily coronavirus press conference, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant pointed out that many of the essential workers who aren’t able to stay home right now also aren’t old enough to get vaccinated easily, and that needs to change.

“We also know that as I indicated, the group of workers that keep society going is this group of workers in the 20 to 49-year-old age group in southwestern Sydney,” Chant said.

“Under 40s would not have been routinely eligible for the vaccination in terms of Pfizer, what I would have recommend to the government is that we urgently do mass vaccination of those workers to stem the transmission risk.”

Chant went on to explain that we need an “intensive vaccination program” using both the locally made AstraZeneca shot and the imported Pfizer shot.

“I would recommend to anyone across New South Wales to make a booking for AstraZeneca, and to get their dose of AstraZeneca regardless of where they live, whilst we are developing a very targeted at intensive strategy in south-western Western Sydney,” she said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the national vaccination strategy might have to be refocused to deal with the reality on the ground in Sydney.

“We need to administer at least the first doses of any vaccine into arms as much as possible, we also need to acknowledge the population of southwestern and Western Sydney is younger than the average population,” she said.

The announcements come on the same morning that the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the TGA for use in 12 to 15-year-olds, meaning immunocompromised teens will now be able to get the jab, too.

Until now, the vaccine rollout had only focused on over 18s, and even then, mainly people over 50 tbh.

Adults in all age groups can now ask a doctor about getting the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine. You can also triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the similarly-good Pfizer vaccine here.

But remember, the best vaccine is the one you can get soonest.

Image: Getty Images / Mark Kolbe