Dr Michael Lyristis from Bentleigh Secondary College in Victoria has been labelled a ‘vaccine champion’ for his work in building COVID-19 vaccine confidence in local schools and workforces.
Dr Lyristis has completed a PhD in Microbiology and postdoctoral research on infectious diseases, and says this has allowed him to better understand the science behind the vaccine and share facts with students.
In fact, whenever Dr Lyristis is asked by students about COVID-19 and why they should get vaccinated, he always says the vaccine is safe and the only way to get back to a normal life.
“I often ask the kids: do you know anyone who has polio? When they say they don’t, I say that’s because we have a vaccine that prevents it. But 50 years ago, you would have,” Dr Lyristis says in an interview with Victoria’s Education Department.
So far, Dr Lyristis says he’s been really impressed with the way his students have embraced the necessity of receiving the vaccine.
“The kids want to get on with their lives,” the Head of Senior School and Biology teacher at Bentleigh says. “They recognise that getting the vaccine is the answer.”