MEDIA STATEMENT - Updated 18 January
YACVic believes it is important that young people have clear information and know their rights when it comes to making health decisions. Evidence shows that being vaccinated protects young people from becoming seriously ill or being hospitalised if infected with COVID-19. It is safer for young people to be vaccinated than it is for them to catch COVID-19.
The video shared on YACVic’s Instagram and TikTok provides information that is consistent with and readily available on the Victorian Government and Federal Government Department of Health websites, but in a light-hearted, youth-friendly way.
The video, one of several, was designed by young people, for young people, and features two actual teenagers communicating an important message to their peers. The vaccine certificate of “Jane Citizen” is a generic vaccine certificate used similarly to videos featuring credit cards, passports or other personal, identifiable information and does not reflect the age of the young people in the video.
Young people aged 12 to 17 may provide their own consent, if deemed to be a mature minor by a senior and experienced immuniser. A health professional must assess whether the young person understands the relevant risks and possible consequences of that decision to get vaccinated.
We do believe it is important that young people should talk with their family and trusted health professionals about vaccination and COVID-19. The video is communicating information that already exists: options for the small number of young people aged 14 and above who may have difficulty gaining parental consent for a variety of reasons. We also recommend that young people speak to their GP about getting vaccinated.
As of this week in Victoria, 89 per cent of 12 to 15 year olds and over 95 per cent of 16-17 year olds have had at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Being vaccinated means young people can go back to living life safely, like school excursions, working part-time, or volunteering in their local community and hanging out with friends.
The video also highlights that young people can get vaccinated in groups, where they may feel more comfortable and supported to do so. This can be done as a family, but can also be done with friends.
Young people have sacrificed so much for the broader community during COVID-19. As well as dealing with disrupted schooling and social lives, young people have worked on the frontline in healthcare, hospitality and retail, and have stepped up to get vaccinated so that the wider community could re-open.
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