News, Culture & Society

Covid-19 Australia: Young people exploiting glitch in system and using it to get Pfizer vaccine

Young people are exploiting a glitch in the Covid vaccine booking system and using it to get the in-demand Pfizer jab despite a national shortage

  • Australians in 16-49 allowed to book a jab despite being ineligible for vaccine 
  • A NSW Health government link offering bookings has been widely circulated 
  • Some to have taken advantage have been given Pfizer jab just three weeks later 

Young Australians are exploiting a glitch in the Covid-19 vaccine booking system to get the Pfizer jab despite a national shortage. 

A New South Wales Health government link offering bookings for the in-demand jab to those in the 16-49 age range has been widely circulated among the state’s residents. 

Some of those who have taken advantage of the loophole have turned up at vaccination centres as little as three weeks later and been given the jab.

Only Australians over the age of 40 though are eligible for the in-demand Pfizer vaccine, with anyone younger than that told they can only receive the AstraZeneca jab – which has been linked to rare blood clotting incidents. 

Young Australians are exploiting a glitch in the Covid-19 vaccine booking system to get the in-demand Pfizer jab. Pictured a health worker holding a Pfizer- BioNTech vial

Federal health officials are scrambling to source sufficient supplies of the Pfizer jab after the EU imposed controversial export rules earlier this year. 

The NSW Health registration form allows young applicants to book an appointment even if they have no underlying health conditions.

The link, which has been seen by Daily Mail Australia, sends users to a page where they are told to create an account and provide their address and Medicare number. 

Users can then choose a time and date for their vaccination from a calendar-style booking form. 

Applicants have booked in appointments for the Pfizer jab at health clinics such as St Vincent’s and Randwick Campus CoVax Clinic, The Australian reported. 

The loophole comes after health officials in NSW admitted giving 163 students at one of Australia’s most elite private schools the Pfizer Covid vaccine ahead of vulnerable groups by mistake. 

St Joseph’s College at Sydney’s affluent Hunter’s Hill confirmed to Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday that the Year 12 students were vaccinated last month, as millions of other less fortunate Aussies are forced to wait until the final quarter of this year.

With community outrage surging over why students at the $50,000-a-year boarding school were given their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine despite the jab not yet being available to under 40s, health bosses blamed an ‘error’.

St Joseph's College at Hunter's Hill, Australia's largest boarding school for boys, confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that 160 of its Year 12 students received the vaccine in May - despite the vaccine not being officially available to under-40s

St Joseph’s College at Hunter’s Hill, Australia’s largest boarding school for boys, confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that 160 of its Year 12 students received the vaccine in May – despite the vaccine not being officially available to under-40s

Dr Teresa Anderson, Chief Executive of Sydney Local Health District which falls under NSW Health, said the jabs had been intended only for Aboriginal students at the school.

Under eligibility guidelines, Indigenous Australians aged 16 to 49 are eligible for the jab which is in short supply nationwide.  

‘It was agreed that the Aboriginal students would be vaccinated through the state health system at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s vaccination hub,’ Dr Anderson said in a statement.

‘Through an error, the wider group of boarders in Year 12, a total of 163 students, were also vaccinated. Sydney Local Health District apologises for this error.’    

More to come 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk