Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo are offering a two-for-one entry pass on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March to anyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccine at walk-in clinics onsite.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor and Minister for Environment James Griffin said families can use the entry pass immediately or any day up until July 31, 2022 at either zoo.
“We know parents are time poor and if they’ve had to delay a booster shot or their kids’ jabs, this is a great way to get both done and be rewarded,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Hopefully the excitement of visiting the animals will overcome any needle fears and the initiative helps families get their COVID jabs up to date ahead of school holidays.”
Almost half (48.6%) of all children aged 5 to 11 in NSW have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 57.8 per cent of those aged 16 and over have had their booster.
The clinic at Taronga Zoo Sydney will be at the main gates, operating from 9am to 3pm. Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s clinic will run from 9am to midday in the Giraffe room near the main entrance. Both clinics will offer adult and paediatric Pfizer jabs.
Taylor said with more than 95 per cent of the community in Dubbo double vaccinated, it is important to now get the booster to protect against the harmful effects of COVID-19.
“We know there are a number of people waiting to receive their third dose and this is particularly important for older people and those who have chronic health conditions,” Mrs Taylor said.
“For example, if you are aged 70 to 79 and have not had a booster dose you are twice as likely as someone who has received it to end up in hospital or to die if you get COVID-19.”
Minister for Environment James Griffin said bookings are not necessary; people can step off a bus or ferry to Taronga Zoo Sydney, or park for free at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, walk into the pop-up clinics and get vaccinated.
“Taronga has been helping to save and protect vulnerable wildlife for 105 years and now it’s helping us to protect those vulnerable in our community,” Mr Griffin said.
“The NSW Government has always looked at different ways to support the vaccination rollout and this is another example. You couldn’t ask for better locations to distract both big kids and small from getting a jab, than to visit two of the most beautiful zoos in the world and have a totally immersive wildlife experience.”
Taronga Conservation Society Australia CEO Cameron Kerr AO said all staff are vaccinated and keen to welcome back visitors to a safe setting where they can connect with wildlife.
“With five new lion cubs at Taronga Zoo Sydney and an adorable Greater One-horned Rhino calf to meet at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, there has never been a better time to plan a family day out to either of our zoos and connect with wildlife,” Mr Kerr said.
The NSW Government has committed more than $4 billion to the NSW health system to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.