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Covid Australia: Protect our Children protest in Sydney as vaccines begin for kids as young as five

Hundreds of protestors, including many mothers, fathers and children, staged a noisy ‘Protect our Children’ anti-vaccine protest in Sydney on Sunday.  

From Monday, children aged from five to 11 will become eligible for Covid vaccinations, making Australia one of only a handful of countries to allow such young kids to be jabbed.  

The Sydney rally followed a much larger anti-vax gathering in Melbourne on Saturday, where hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the name of ‘protecting children’.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has deemed the Pfizer vaccine perfectly safe for children, and can help protect them from the delipidating effects of long Covid.

It relied on a recent clinical trial which showed the vaccine had mild or non-existent side effects for children and helped to protect them from illness. 

A determined looking girl (pictured, holding an upside down Australian flag) and her parents (pictured) make their way to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Sydney residence

Anti-Covid vaccine protesters (pictured) gather in front of police officers outside Kirribilli House, the Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister, on January 9, 2022

Anti-Covid vaccine protesters (pictured) gather in front of police officers outside Kirribilli House, the Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister, on January 9, 2022

IS THE VACCINE SAFE FOR KIDS? 

Evidence shows vaccination offers excellent protection against COVID-19 in children. Even though COVID-19 in children is often milder than in adults, there’s strong evidence to support vaccinating children.

Vaccines give the immune system a helping hand to protect against serious illness and possible long-term effects from COVID-19. Vaccination also helps to protect friends, family and the community by reducing spread of the virus.

The Pfizer (Comirnaty) children’s vaccine is the approved COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 – 11 years in Australia. The dose is around 1/3 of the dose for people aged 12 years and older.

Children will receive two doses of the vaccine, given 8 weeks apart. In certain circumstances, the second dose can be brought forward to 3 weeks after the first dose, including:

Parents are encouraged to book a vaccination appointment for their child as soon as possible. Talk to your GP if you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 vaccination for your child.

Source: NSW Health 

Sunday’s protest came as NSW recorded its worst day yet of the pandemic, with 16 deaths. There were also  30,062 recorded new cases of Covid in the state as the Omicron strain runs rampant – but this is likely to be much higher due to the lack of reporting of positive rapid test results, with no system yet set up to do so.

The protestors gathered in Hyde Park in the city centre and then made their way across the Harbour Bridge to Kirribilli House on the north shore of the city.

Kirribilli House is the official Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. 

The wet weather in Sydney dampened the enthusiasm of some of the protestors, with more of them carrying umbrellas than placards.

Many of those marching waved upside down Australian flags, seemingly in rejection of the way the government is handling the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Among those protesting in Sydney was former Liberal Party MP Craig Kelly, who is now the leader of the United Australia Party. 

Mr Kelly took to Twitter to accuse the NSW government of a cover up over Covid-19 deaths. 

‘Another day, another FAILURE to disclose vaccine status. AND if underlying health conditions,’ he wrote on the social media platform. 

Protesters (pictured) against mandatory vaccines gathered at Hyde Park in Sydney on Sunday. Australia's vaccination program will be extended to children aged five to 11 years from January 10

Protesters (pictured) against mandatory vaccines gathered at Hyde Park in Sydney on Sunday. Australia’s vaccination program will be extended to children aged five to 11 years from January 10

Member for Hughes, New South Wales, Craig Kelly (pictured centre) joins anti-Covid vaccine protesters outside Kirribilli House on January 9 in Sydney, Australia

Member for Hughes, New South Wales, Craig Kelly (pictured centre) joins anti-Covid vaccine protesters outside Kirribilli House on January 9 in Sydney, Australia

‘What are (NSW Premier Dominic) Perrottet, (health minister Brad) Hazzard & (Chief Health Officer Kerry) Chant HIDING. 

‘We must know the WHOLE truth. “Safe & effective” they said. What a disgusting show. Perrottet, Hazzard & Chant must GO.

Across Australia, children aged 12 and above are already eligible to get vaccinated, as are all adults. Across Australia, 91 per cent of those aged 12 and over have had two vaccine doses, while 93.9 per cent have had at least one dose. 

In NSW, 92.8 per cent of people have had two doses and 94.3 per cent have had a least one shot.    

Some protestors, such as the woman pictured, held placards in support of Serbian tennis player and anti-vaxxer Novak Djokovic

Some protestors, such as the woman pictured, held placards in support of Serbian tennis player and anti-vaxxer Novak Djokovic 

Anti-vax protestors (pictured) in Sydney on Sunday as Australia prepares to roll out vaccinations for children aged five to 11

Anti-vax protestors (pictured) in Sydney on Sunday as Australia prepares to roll out vaccinations for children aged five to 11

Many of the marchers in Sydney held signs saying ‘Hands off our kids’, while some held messages of support for Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, who is being held in immigration detention in Melbourne after his Australian visa was cancelled. 

Some of the signs referred to him as Novax Djokovic, a reference to the player’s stance on Covid vaccinations.

Djokovic’s appeal against the cancellation of his visa is set to begin in Melbourne on Monday morning after the federal government failed in its bid to have the process delayed. 

Unmasked anti-vaccination protestors (pictured) gather at Kirribilli House in Sydney to rally against vaccines being made available to children as young as five

Unmasked anti-vaccination protestors (pictured) gather at Kirribilli House in Sydney to rally against vaccines being made available to children as young as five

United Australia Party leader Craig Kelly (pictured in yellow cap) was among those protesting against Covid-19 vaccinations in Sydney on Sunday

United Australia Party leader Craig Kelly (pictured in yellow cap) was among those protesting against Covid-19 vaccinations in Sydney on Sunday

The 16 people whose deaths from Covid were recorded on Sunday included eight women and eight men aged in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. 

Seven were from south-western Sydney, two from south-eastern Sydney, two from western Sydney, two from Sydney’s inner west, one from northern Sydney, one from the state’s Central Coast and one from the South Coast.

There are 1,927 Covid-19 cases in hospital, with 151 people in intensive care, 38 of whom require ventilation.  

The wet day in Sydney meant at times that more anti-vax protestors carried umbrellas (pictured) than placards during a protest on Sunday

The wet day in Sydney meant at times that more anti-vax protestors carried umbrellas (pictured) than placards during a protest on Sunday

A child (pictured) waves an upside down Australian flag to protest at how the government has handled the Covid-19 epidemic

A child (pictured) waves an upside down Australian flag to protest at how the government has handled the Covid-19 epidemic

A masked policeman (pictured left) observes unmasked anti-vaccination protestors (right) across from the Opera House

A masked policeman (pictured left) observes unmasked anti-vaccination protestors (right) across from the Opera House

An anti-vaccination protester in Sydney on Sunday (pictured centre) holds a sign saying the government is lying to the people

An anti-vaccination protester in Sydney on Sunday (pictured centre) holds a sign saying the government is lying to the people

 

A protestor (pictured front) holds a sign saying vaccinating children amounts to injuring them to make adults feel safe, calling it 'a new low for the human race'

A protestor (pictured front) holds a sign saying vaccinating children amounts to injuring them to make adults feel safe, calling it ‘a new low for the human race’

A woman protestor in Sydney (pictured) holds an anti-vaccination sign saying 'Freedom needs no passport'

A woman protestor in Sydney (pictured) holds an anti-vaccination sign saying ‘Freedom needs no passport’

An anti-vaccination protestor in Sydney (pictured centre) holds a sign claiming that 'Hospitals are filled with jab victims'

An anti-vaccination protestor in Sydney (pictured centre) holds a sign claiming that ‘Hospitals are filled with jab victims’

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