“It’s a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel,” is how a Ponds High School student described getting the first COVID-19 vaccination at the Qudos Bank Arena vaccination centre yesterday (Monday).
Owen Hainsworth from The Ponds High, was one of the first students through the doors and said he was hugely grateful for the opportunity to be vaccinated ahead of his HSC trials and exams.
“This is a milestone to move forward, away from this pandemic. I think everyone needs to get the jab; if everyone does their part then we can find our normal again,” Owen said.
“Just being able to know that in a couple of weeks’ time after my second dose I’ll hopefully be able to go back to school for the HSC.”
Owen was one of the first 3000 senior students to be inoculated at the Sydney Olympic Park venue on day one of the fully booked event.
Almost half of all eligible year 12 students in Sydney’s “hotspot” areas had registered to get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine within 72 hours of appointments being made available online.
NSW Health is offering 24,000 first-dose vaccination appointments in total between August 9 and 14.
The HSC class of 2021 in the affected LGAs of Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Cumberland, Parramatta, Liverpool and Georges River, are all eligible to get vaccinated.
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) chief executive Graeme Loy said the Qudos Bank Arena vaccination centre will be the first of its kind in NSW, supporting the vaccination rollout.
“This set up of this facility has truly been a team effort and we are enormously grateful to NSW Transport, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, NSW Police, Western Sydney University, Baxter and NSW Pathology to help us to deliver this critical service to our year 12 students,” Mr Loy said.
Any student from Blacktown who has not yet received a booking link should contact their school.
Students can call the NSW Health Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre on 1800 922 886 for more information or if they require assistance completing their booking.
For more information about the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in NSW go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19.
Main picture: Owen Hainsworth, of The Ponds High School, getting his vaccination at Qudos Arena vaccination clinic. Image NSW Health.