NSW Health has apologised after students at a prestigious Sydney Catholic school were given doses of the Pfizer vaccine despite it not being officially available to those under the age of 40.
St Joseph's College on the city's lower north shore is one of the most expensive Catholic boy's schools in the country and managed to secure vaccine doses even though thousands of frontline staff including aged care workers have still not been vaccinated.
On Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald revealed more than 160 students from at the college received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine back in May, despite it not being available for younger people or the general public.
The state health department has since said it was an "error" that the students were given the vaccination so early.
It comes the day after the NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said supply of the vaccine from the Federal Government was so limited that the states were vying for them "like The Hunger Games".
According to the ABC, school principal Ross Tarlinton said students were administered the vaccine at a centre determined by NSW Health, which Mr Hazzard oversees.
The school issued a statement saying it approached Sydney Local Health District because the boys are boarders with some coming from rural communities, including remote Indigenous communities.
Sydney Local Health District chief executive Teresa Anderson on Tuesday said only Indigenous students - who are eligible - were supposed to be vaccinated.
"Through an error, the wider group of boarders in Year 12, a total of 163 students, were also vaccinated," she said.
"Sydney Local Health District apologises for this error."
I too would like to be accidentally vaccinated against the novel coronavirus
— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) July 6, 2021
Honey I Accidentally Vaccinated The Private School Kids
— Jon “Fleet Of Airships” Kudelka (@jonkudelka) July 6, 2021
We tripped and fell, holding a needle, into 163 students https://t.co/0KBeKKriAt
— Matt Bevan (@MatthewBevan) July 6, 2021
The prestigious college would not say how many of the students actually fell into the eligibility category.
All Indigenous Australians aged 16 to 49 are eligible, according to Commonwealth's criteria.
On Wednesday, the NSW premier is expected to make a decision on whether the lockdown affecting Greater Sydney and surround areas will end on Friday as initially hoped.
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