Year 12 students, teachers and early childhood educators in the ACT will get priority access to COVID-19 vaccination appointments in a bid to get senior students to class for their final exams.
ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry said Pfizer appointments would be available for the year 12 students at the AIS Arena mass vaccination hub from September 6 to 17.
ACT teachers, educators and staff in early childhood services, schools and outside of school care who have direct contact with children will also have priority access to vaccinations.
"Vaccination for our front-line education staff is an important part of returning to face-to-face education when it is safe to do so," Ms Berry said.
"I know that year 12 can be a really stressful time for college students at the best of times and so providing vaccine protection and a level of certainty around assessments will support our young people who are planning for their future in unsettling and uncertain times."
Supervisors and facilitators of the ACT Scaling Test will also have priority access.
To access the priority appointments, year 12 students should contact the COVID-19 vaccination booking line on 02 5124 7700 between 7am and 7pm daily.
Callers will be asked to identify themselves as year 12 students. Students with an existing booking will be able to move it forward to the coming fortnight.
Meanwhile, school and early childhood education staff will have a dedicated phone line set up to book priority vaccination appointments. Information will be sent directly to staff and those with an existing appointment will be able to move it forward.
AST facilitators and staff will be contacted directly with information on how to book their vaccination appointment.
From late September, children aged 12 and over at ACT government specialist schools will be vaccinated through an in-reach program. This includes students enrolled at Cranleigh, The Woden School, Black Mountain School, Malkara School and the flexible education program.
The extra doses have come from a swap deal with Singapore, where Australia would receive 500,000 doses next week and Australia would send the same amount to Singapore in December.
The announcement came as the ACT recorded 18 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday. Only three of the new cases were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.
Parents have been lobbying for the college students to be vaccinated quickly to protect them from the virus to allow them to complete their final assessments and exams.
University of Canberra Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra Parents and Citizens Association president Ben Vagnarelli welcomed the announcement, but said year 11 students should also be prioritised.
"Year 11 students are still having very disrupted learning in this critical ATAR year so hopefully they will get their chance when more supplies turn up," he said.
The public and independent school teachers unions and Canberra Liberals had been advocating for vaccinations for early childhood educators and teachers.
READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS:
The ACT scaling test, which was meant to be held this week on August 31 and September 1, has been postponed to October 12 and 13 in the hope that it will be safe to conduct the three-part exam at school.
Students doing the NSW Higher School Certificate have had their final exams delayed to November 9.
International Baccalaureate students are scheduled to begin their final exams in late October.
All ACT students will be learning from home for the rest of term 3 after the lockdown was extended to September 17. Details on how schools will operate in term 4 is expected to be revealed in the first week of the September school holidays.
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