Currajong Street Medical Centre among first named in COVID-19 vaccine rollout

ADMINISTERING: Currajong Street Medical Centre in Parkes started administering COVID-19 vaccinations yesterday after it was named one of 13 practices in the first week of Phase 1b.
ADMINISTERING: Currajong Street Medical Centre in Parkes started administering COVID-19 vaccinations yesterday after it was named one of 13 practices in the first week of Phase 1b.

Currajong Street Medical Centre in Parkes has now started administering COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) announced on Friday that Phase 1b of the Commonwealth Government's COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout would commence in the region from today (Monday).

It also announced that selected clinics across the region will be involved in the rollout, with up to 13 practices named in the first week of Phase 1b.

Currajong Street Medical Centre is among those 13, as are Forbes Medical Centre and Forbes Medicine and Mind.

Currajong Street Medical Centre began vaccinating patients today.

"Approximately the same number of additional practices will be included in the rollout of Phase 1b vaccinations during each of the subsequent three weeks until each of the 56 confirmed practices across our region are involved," WNSW PHN said in Friday's statement.

"As has been advised by the Department of Health there is currently limited stock of imported vaccine. Towards the end of this month, CSL will be manufacturing significant volumes each week.

"Until then, GPs will be provided with limited stocks and will receive deliveries weekly."

WNSW PHN said GPs will only be able to provide limited appointments based on stock-on-hand.

"We ask that the public be patient and over the coming weeks vaccine stock will increase, as will the number of GPs receiving vaccine," WNSW PHN said.

"Residents of the region can rest assured that as more practices become involved during the first four weeks of Phase 1b, that there will be ample opportunity for everyone eligible in the Phase to be vaccinated in a timely manner."

READY TO ROLL: Dr Hemant Mahagaonkar and Dr Neale Soames prepare for the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine through the Forbes Medical Centre.

READY TO ROLL: Dr Hemant Mahagaonkar and Dr Neale Soames prepare for the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine through the Forbes Medical Centre.

WNSW PHN is encouraging those who are eligible for vaccination during Phase 1b to talk to their usual general practice to enquire as to that practice's inclusion in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, and what to do if required to attend another general practice.

Those without a usual GP will be able to access vaccination services at one of the region's COVID-19 Respiratory Clinics that will be part of the vaccination rollout, such as Orange, Dubbo and Bathurst.

The following groups of people are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations as part of the Phase 1b Vaccination Rollout:

  • People aged 70 years and over.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 years and over.
  • Health Care Workers not vaccinated during Phase 1a.
  • People aged 18 years and over with specified underlying medical conditions.
  • Critical and high-risk workers.

WNSW PHN also encourages people with an underlying medical condition whose practice is not involved during the four-week rollout of Phase 1b to see their regular GP for an up-to-date, printed personal health summary or confirmation letter before booking for their vaccine with another practice.

WNSW PHN Acting CEO Robert Strickland has praised the clinics who are involved during Phase 1b of vaccinations.

"We're extremely grateful that so many of the region's general practices have chosen to be part of this absolutely vital stage in our region's response to COVID-19," he said.

"We're also truly indebted to the region's respiratory clinics that have been integral in providing testing services for people across the region, and the work of these clinics will continue to be extremely important as many of them begin to provide vaccination services as well."

General practitioner and Rural Clinical Lead for NSW Health's COVID-19 Primary Care Community of Practice, Dr Ai-Vee Chua, is reminding people not to panic about booking in for their COVID-19 vaccinations.

"The Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and have passed the rigorous TGA approval processes to be made available in Australia," Dr Chua said.

"It will be a good thing for our vulnerable populations to have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination sometime in the next few months.

"We are in the fortunate position of having had no community transmission in NSW since mid-January, NSW has very robust contact tracing systems in place, and there is no rush to have your vaccine this week.

"There are very limited amounts of vaccine available to general practices right now, but supply of vaccines will increase as Australian production of the AstraZeneca vaccine ramps up in the coming weeks, allowing more and more GP practices to be permitted to come on board as vaccination sites.

"People who are eligible to receive the vaccine will eventually do so over the course of this year."

Residents can check which phase of the Commonwealth Government's COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout they will be eligible for via this link, https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility.

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