2021 Western Australia school leavers must be vaccinated for year end event

Year 12 students attending the 2021 Dunsborough school leavers event must be vaccinated.
Year 12 students attending the 2021 Dunsborough school leavers event must be vaccinated.

Anyone wishing to attend Western Australia's largest school leavers event in Dunsborough next month will need to be vaccinated.

The Chief Health Officer has provided advice that the precaution is necessary to ensure a safe event for school leavers and the local community.

Mandatory vaccination will be required by way of directions issued under the Public Health Act 2016.

This will require all event attendees and personnel to be vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 22, 2021.

The directions only apply to the event at Dunsborough which is scheduled to be held from Monday, November 22 to Friday, November 26, and attracts about 9,000 attendees.

If a COVID-19 positive case occurred at the event, there is a risk of a serious community outbreak because of a lack of physical distancing, the mixing of non-family groups, interaction between attendees, the number of high frequency contact surfaces such as amusement rides and food stalls, and the potential lack of good contact tracing data.

During the school holidays, walk-in opportunities for students are available at clinics in Midland, Kwinana and the city centre, as well as Joondalup and Claremont.

School staff are also able to access the dedicated vaccination slots without an appointment after school hours and during the school holidays.

Regional clinics will also offer walk-in opportunities for senior students and school staff in Busselton, Broome, Laverton, Albany, Northam, Hedland, Karratha, Coolgardie, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Kambalda, Leonora, Norseman, Bunbury, Derby, Kununurra, Carnarvon and Geraldton.

Children in remote communities will be offered vaccinations as part of a broader community outreach vaccination program co-ordinated by WA Country Health Service.

WA Health State COVID-19 vaccination clinics were available in more than 100 locations acrossWA, with locations listed on the HealthyWA website . A range of GPs and GP respiratory clinics will also be able to provide the vaccine to children aged 12 years and older.

Health Minister Roger Cook said WA had one of the world's best safety records against COVID-19. We have an enviable lifestyle that we all want to protect.

"The last thing anyone wants to see in our state is the death and community devastation that has been occurring in NSW and Victoria," he said.

"This is another sensible step to protect our young people at a big event but also the volunteers, workers and local community as well.

"I'm sure many parents of senior secondary students will be pleased that their teens can get vaccinated in one of the walk-in clinics.

"There is plenty of time for everyone wishing to attend the event to get vaccinated. Don't wait before it's too late."

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said they have made it possible for students aged 16 and above to walk-in at community vaccination clinics without an appointment, and we will also begin a school-based vaccination program next week.

"Mandating vaccinations for those attending leavers celebrations in Dunsborough is another necessary step in ensuring young people in our community are protected against COVID-19."

Police Minister Paul Papalia said leavers week had become almost a rite of passage and it was a great opportunity for young people to let their hair down after 13 long years of schooling.

"We want people to enjoy themselves, but we want them to be safe. We want a week that is celebrated and remembered for the right reasons," he said.

"There is plenty of time for leavers to get vaccinated ahead of the formal events in Dunsborough."