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Pfizer jab now available for young Australians


Young Australians can start getting the Pfizer jab from today, with the first round of eligibility expected to include more than 200,000 12 to 15-year-olds.

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Children from 12 to 15 years of age with underlying medical conditions, and Indigenous and remote community children will have access to Pfizer, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

“That’s about 220,000 children”, he told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

Children more broadly in that age group, are being considered by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

“All the advice is they are likely to open that up to kids and school-based vaccination programs are planned with every state or territory,” he said.

Meanwhile, even if Australia gets through its series of lockdowns and there is a high level of vaccination, there is a warning hundreds of domestic airline flights could be grounded this summer.

Australian Aviation Ground Handling Industry Alliance chair Glenn Rutherford says Australia’s economic recovery could be threatened.

That’s because thousands of critical aviation ground operations workers are on the cusp of leaving the industry as they have been excluded from the Australian government’s support package for the rest of the sector.

The $750 a week support package announced last week is designed to protect local aviation jobs and ensure these skilled workers are available when normal flight schedules resume in the coming months

However, only airline staff are eligible, with specialist aviation ground operations staff employed by third party suppliers excluded.

“Without aviation ground operations, planes cannot fly,” Rutherford said.

Peak welfare body, Australian Council of Social Service, says more than one million people are enduring lockdown in financial stress.

Most of them will receive just $44 a day from the JobSeeker dole payment. For some 260,000 young people and students, their payments are even less, at $36 per day.

“With parliament sitting this week, the government can fix our social security system for good to reduce the huge degree of uncertainty and distress people face when lockdowns hit,” ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.

“We have lockdowns continuing in our two most populated states – it’s never been clearer that we need stable and adequate income support in place so that people and businesses can get through this long-running crisis.”

-with AAP

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