To limit the spread and protect children, families, school staff and the community from COVID-19, there are two important things you can do as children return to school: vaccination and rapid antigen testing.
Currently, anyone aged 5 years and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
As of 10 January 2022, children aged 5 to 11 can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from 10 January 2022. They will receive a smaller dose of vaccine created specifically for their age group.
By vaccinating your children, you can:
- Reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Protect them from getting sick from COVID-19
- Keep schools open, so children can have more face-to-face learning and playtime with their friends.
To make a vaccination appointment, please book online or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 between 8 am and 8 pm, 7 days a week. Alternatively, Monash Health has walk-in appointments available at its Dandenong Plaza Vaccination Clinic – no booking required.
Rapid Antigen Testing
Rapid antigen testing is being made available to help students and staff safely return to school and ensure positive cases are identified as quickly as possible.
Free Rapid Antigen Tests are available through schools for use by all students and staff from the start of Term 1 2022.
For mainstream primary and secondary staff and students: twice-a-week testing on school days is strongly recommended for the first four weeks of term.
For specialist school staff and students: testing each school day for five days is strongly recommended. This is to provide a higher level of surveillance for students with disabilities because of the greater risk associated with COVID-19 for some students with disabilities.
Testing is to be conducted at home, and students and staff must report any positive result. There is no requirement to report a negative result.
Please note: if staff or students have any symptoms, they must use an at-home rapid antigen (RA) test immediately. If a RA test is not available, they should attend a testing site for a PCR test. Two RA tests are available from state testing sites.
Next steps if students or staff test positive
If a student or staff member receives a positive COVID-19 result on a Rapid Antigen Test, they must:
- Isolate, do not attend school
- Report the result to the Victorian Department of Health via the online form or calling the Coronavirus Hotline at 1800 675 398
- Notify the school
For more information on how to report a positive result, please visit: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/rapid-antigen-testing-schools