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  • Australian teens turn to jabs because lockdowns suck

    Author: AAP

Lucca and Padua Beaves are among more than 230,000 teenagers who have lined up for their first dose of the COVID jab.

Melbourne Year 12 students Lucca and Padua Beaves had their first dose of Astra Zeneca vaccine about a fortnight ago.

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"I was a bit sick and sore for two days afterwards but then it was fine," Lucca told AAP.

The 18-year-old twins are among more than 230,000 or 19 per cent of Australians aged 16-19 who have already lined up for their first COVID jab, while another five per cent have had both.

For Lucca and his brother, who are students at McKinnon Secondary College, it's the second year they've been forced to study at home.

They're used to it by now but according to Lucca, it still sucks.

"I just hope everyone gets vaccinated, we can't be in lockdown much longer," he said.

With both parents working in healthcare, he said getting vaccinated was simply "the right thing to do".

Their mother, Maryanne Turner, said her sons have missed out on seeing friends and developing their independence.

"The boys have had two years of VCE in their bedrooms," she said.

An aged care nurse, Ms Turner has seen the reality of the pandemic up close.

She looked after elderly COVID patients in 2020 and said it was an "awful" experience she would never want to repeat.

But the highly infectious Delta variant has seen more young people hospitalised, particularly during the current outbreak in NSW, with some doctors identifying young adults as "peak transmitters" of the Delta strain.

People aged 16 to 39 will be eligible for the Pfizer jab from Monday, while the Therapeutic Goods Administration also recently gave the green light to Pfizer for 12 to 15-year-olds, with bookings to start from September 13.

Children in that age bracket who have compromised immune systems, are Indigenous or live with underlying health conditions are already eligible.

The A-Z jab is not yet approved for people under 18.

There are also hopes the Moderna vaccine could become available for younger people in the coming weeks.

With Victoria's sixth lockdown extended on Sunday, the Beaves family is trying hard to stay optimistic.

A weekend takeaway night has turned into a rigorous evaluation of pizza joints in Melbourne's southeast, complete with its own scoring system, and dinner together every night is a must.

For Lucca and Padua, having a twin seems to help.

"We do all of the same subjects, we are definitely just coping together," Lucca said.


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