NSW Department of Education welcomes NCIRS report confirming vaccination value
The New South Wales Department of Education has welcomed the release of a new report that has confirmed achieving a high rate of vaccination amongst eligible education staff, parents and students (over 16 years of age) is a critical step toward reducing the spread of COVID-19 in communities and in achieving a safe return to face-to-face learning in schools, and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services.
The report from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) was published yesterday.
“We are led by the advice of NSW Health and have been managing the operational response to COVID-19 for the past 18 months to ensure our school and early childhood education communities remain safe,” a Departmental spokesperson said.
“When COVID-19 positive cases are identified, well-rehearsed systems and protocols are followed to close affected schools and early childhood education and care services for deep cleaning, to notify parents and carers, and for NSW Health to undertake contact tracing before facilities are reopened.”
The Department of Education said it will continue to work closely with NSW Health on the vaccination roll out, with the health, wellbeing and safety of children, young people, their families, and staff members our top priority.
Vaccinations for all education staff across all sectors will be mandatory from 8 November.
The report also confirmed that most children diagnosed with COVID-19 during the current outbreak, including those who caught the infection in schools and early childhood settings, experienced mild or no symptoms, with 2 per cent requiring hospitalisation.
“To support the return to classrooms and early childhood education and care services, we encourage all eligible staff, students (over 16) and family members to seek an available vaccination and help protect both themselves and other members of their educational community from COVID-19,” the Department said.
Parents are strongly encouraged to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
“We are grateful to the parents, teachers, educators, and principals who have strived to keep school and ECEC communities safe throughout the pandemic and who have ensured children and young people receive a high-quality education in both face-to-face and learning from home settings,” the spokesperson added.
Current advice for NSW families in relation to COVID-19 protections may be accessed here.
For current Advice for Early Childhood Education and Care Services see here.
Further information about the NSW Department of Education response to COVID-19 is available on the Department’s website.