Page 69 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022

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back, so we would have to be very wary of the types of credit arrangements that you would put people into in that context for a loan of such a small amount. That is a concern. That has been a problem with some of the microcredit schemes in the past and the loan shark behaviour that has occurred in the private sector. Really, the Sustainable Household Scheme is for the types of products that are in the scheme at the moment that have a much higher capital cost.

COVID-19 pandemic—vaccination rollout

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the ACT’s nation-leading rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for her ongoing interest in our nation-leading COVID-19 vaccination programs and in ensuring that five- to 11-year-olds in our community are protected. I am pleased to inform the Assembly that the ACT continues to lead the nation, with nearly 75 per cent of ACT five- to 11-year-olds receiving their first dose of a vaccine so far. To deliver this result has required careful planning. The ACT government opened bookings for children on 20 December 2021 to provide peace of mind to parents heading into the Christmas period and ensured our clinics were prepared to hit the ground running when we received supply from the commonwealth. That is exactly what we have done. Since the program commenced on 10 January, more than 29,000 vaccines have been administered to children through ACT government clinics, GPs and pharmacies.

The government also made adjustments to the AIS arena, incorporating several child-friendly initiatives to support the delivery of the paediatric vaccination program. Children can now stomp, jump, squash and count the COVID-19 virus stickers as they journey through the clinic. Designated children’s bays have been established to help kids feel more comfortable when receiving their vaccines. They bays have posters and wall images that help our COVID-19 superheroes find their way. Whilst in recovery, children can watch animated movies and receive stickers and a lollipop treat before they pose for a vaccination photo at the superhero selfie wall.

I am excited to announce that on Saturday 12 February, AIS clinic will be holding its very own superhero Saturday vaccination clinic for children. Children can come to the AIS clinic dressed as their favourite superheroes as they help Canberra to fight Covid. Accompanying parents and carers will also be able to receive their booster vaccination at the same time. I strongly encourage parents, guardians and carers to book in their kids that have not yet received their first vaccine dose.

DR PATERSON: Minister, can you please update members on the rollout of the COVID-19 boosters in the ACT, which is ensuring that Canberrans remain protected during the latest wave of the COVID-19 infection?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the supplementary question. The ACT launched the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine boosters to all eligible adults on 1 November 2021. On 3 February, following advice from the commonwealth expert vaccine advisory body, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation,

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