'Better safe than sorry': Cowra's youth roll up their sleeves

Eliza Braddon pictured last week after receiving her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
Eliza Braddon pictured last week after receiving her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

Following changes to the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, the Cowra Shire's young people are coming out in force to get their first jab.

As of August 30, people aged 16 to 39 years are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) looking into eligibility for people aged 12 to 15 who are not in a priority group.

Unlike most people her age, Cowra resident Eliza Braddon, who works at a local supermarket and real estate, received her second dose of Pfizer last Wednesday.

She said it was relieving to know she was protected against the virus, with regional cases increasing each day.

"Because I work at Coles, I'm an essential worker and I come in contact with hundreds of people a day when I'm working, so I thought better safe than sorry," she said.

"If I can prevent anyone else around me getting it, that would be the ideal... whatever I can do to help everyone else as well as myself."

Eliza said while she understands everyone has got a personal preference when it comes to vaccinations, her friends are keen to get vaccinated in order to get some normalcy back in their lives.

"They're all well and truly down to do it," she said.

"I don't really have many people around my immediate circle that are like, 'no I don't want to do it', which is good, but I think everyone's sort of ready to get it."

"We've been cooped up for so long in our 20s, we're meant to get out.

"The last year and a half, I've done nothing which is so sad."

Local Year 12 student Finn Ryan has also booked in for his first dose of Pfizer in early September, saying the eligibility announcement came as a surprise.

"I've kind of just been sitting around not really thinking too much of it," he said.

"Then my mum mentioned, "You're eligible now, you want to get booked in?"... it's kind of a surprise really."

With plans to go to university next year, Finn said getting vaccinated was important to him.

"Otherwise [I'm] sitting here not having any form of protection, really waiting for it to close in," he said.

"But now that I'm able to protect myself a little bit, it's a bit more reassuring.

"I get the flu shot most years and always have been vaccinated and have been in high school, I've always been up to date with vaccines so I'm not too opposed."

Those between the ages of 18 and 59 years can also be provided the AstraZeneca vaccine with informed consent.