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Commissioners welcome vaccines for young rangatahi

Media releases

19 August 2021

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft welcomes the Government’s announcement today that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will be available for children and young people aged 12 to 15 years.

“Children have a right to the highest possible standard of health, under article 24 of the UN Children’s Convention,” Commissioner Becroft said. “At the moment, that includes being protected from this devastating virus.

“The best expert advice is that children and young people aged 12 to 15 should get the vaccine, in order to keep themselves safe, and to protect those around them.

“We urge parents to act responsibly and to emphasise the benefits to their children of being vaccinated against Covid-19. The Government has said vaccinations can be booked for 12 to 15-year- olds from tomorrow, and that children and young people this age can start receiving their jabs on September 1.”

Assistant Māori Commissioner Glenis Philip-Barbara said the vaccinations were particularly important for Māori and Pacific communities to improve their defence against the virus.

“Our communities are under-protected at the moment, and this is an opportunity not just to protect our mokopuna, but also to protect our whānau and wider community,” she said.

Commissioner Becroft added: “We also urge health practitioners to ensure that parents have access to good information ahead of them choosing to vaccinate their children.

“Children and young people themselves have so far been great at keeping up with the information about Covid-19 and staying informed about the risks and the need to keep themselves and others safe.

“By coming together, we have shown the world how to protect each other from Covid-19. Vaccination is just another way to look out for each other, particularly those who are most at risk from the virus,” Commissioner Becroft said.