18 March 2021

First staff vaccinated ahead of rollout across the region

| Edwina Mason
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Doctor holding COVID-19 vaccination needle.

Fourteen general practices and five GP vaccination hubs will initially come online to administer the COVID-19 vaccine across the Murrumbidgee Local Health District from the week commencing 22 March, 2021. Photo: Supplied.

Medical clinics across the region are bracing themselves for an onslaught of bookings with Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout scheduled to commence in general practice next week.

The announcement of the second phase of the national scheme follows the first health care workers from the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday, 15 March.

Emergency department registered nurse Rebecca Deveraux, nurse practitioner Wendy Swann, pathologist Sheena Hatfield, and emergency department doctor Tom Heaney were among the first MLHD recipients to be vaccinated at the COVID-19 vaccination hub in Wagga Wagga as part of the Phase 1A rollout.

“It was such an honour to be the first staff member to receive this vaccine,” said Ms Deveraux.

“Our teams have worked so hard during the past 12 months of the pandemic to maintain safety protocols and look after our communities. It’s just so great to finally have this vaccine to help keep us safe and reduce the effects of the virus.”

Registered nurse Rebecca Deveraux receiving COVID-19 vaccination.

It was such an honour to be the first staff member to receive this vaccine,” said Murrumbidgee Local Health District emergency department registered nurse Rebecca Deveraux. Photo: Supplied.

MPHN acting CEO Julie Redway said as part of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, there will be 14 general practices and five GP vaccination hubs initially coming online to administer the vaccine during the week commencing 22 March, 2021.

“When the Australian Government first called for interest from the nation’s general practices to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, it was pleasing to have more than 90 per cent of eligible GPs across the Murrumbidgee wanting to be involved,” she said.

“This initial rollout will see the communities of Wagga Wagga, Cootamundra, Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera, Barham, Temora, West Wyalong and Young able to access the vaccine in a local general practice.

“In addition to these general practices, the current GP respiratory clinics in Wagga Wagga, Gundagai, Young, Deniliquin and Griffith will include GP vaccination hubs.”

Ms Redway said, during the coming weeks, more general practices would commence vaccinations.

“If you’re not living in these first communities or neighbouring townships, I would encourage you to contact your local GP to discuss when and how you might be able to receive the vaccine,” she said.

People who are eligible for the vaccination under Phase 1b include healthcare workers currently employed and not included under Phase 1a; critical and high-risk workers currently employed; people above 70 years of age; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people above 55 years of age; and people aged above 18 with an underlying medical condition, including disability.

Preparing the vaccine at the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Hub. Photo: supplied.

Wagga Wagga GP Dr Rachel Glasson said people should be aware of the need to wait two weeks between COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations.

“There is a requirement for the COVID-19, influenza or any other vaccine to be administered at least 14 days apart,” she said. “This means people can expect to be asked during their vaccination appointment if they have had any vaccinations in the past 14 days.”

MLHD chief executive Jill Ludford said the rollout of the vaccination is welcome in the Murrumbidgee region.

“We are so pleased our frontline health workers are among the first to receive a COVID 19 vaccination,” she said.

“We are certainly well prepared for this rollout and will be relieved to finally have another tool in our armour against this virus.

“I’d like to thank our teams who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic managing our local COVID-19 response.

“We are encouraged and relieved to know our frontline staff will all be immunised in coming weeks.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, said the best line of defence against COVID-19 was the vaccine.

“I am delighted to see the COVID-19 vaccination being delivered across … all of regional Australia,” he said. “It is vital Australians are vaccinated.”

To check your eligibility for a vaccine, visit here. If you are eligible, you will be redirected to book or find a service near you.

The following general practices in the Murrumbidgee region will be administering COVID-19 vaccinations next week:

  • KRS Health Family Medical, Wagga Wagga
  • Blamey Street Surgery, Wagga Wagga
  • Glenrock Country Practice, Wagga Wagga
  • Kooringal Medical Centre, Wagga Wagga
  • Young District Medical Centre
  • Cootamundra Medical Centre
  • Temora Medical Practice
  • West Wyalong Medical Centre
  • Leeton Medical Centre
  • Ochre Health Medical Centre, Barham
  • Hay Medical Centre
  • Kookora Surgery, Griffith
  • Leeton Medical Practice
  • Narrandera Medical Centre

GP Vaccination Hubs:

  • Wagga Wagga Vaccination Hub – 8 Tanda Place, Glenfield Park
  • Gundagai Vaccination Hub – 134 Mount Street, Gundagai
  • Young Vaccination Hub – 12 Boorowa Street, Young
  • Deniliquin Vaccination Hub – 409 George Street, Deniliquin
  • Griffith Vaccination Hub – 105 Binya Street, Griffith

The following general practices in the wider capital region will be administering COVID-19 vaccinations next week:

In Queanbeyan:

  • Brindabella Family Practice
  • Queanbeyan GP Super Clinic, and;
  • Riverside Medical Centre.

In Goulburn:

  • Bradfordville Family Medical Centre
  • Marima Medical Clinic, and
  • Goulburn Medical Centre.

In the Eurobodalla:

  • Batemans Bay Medical Centre, and
  • Narooma Respiratory Clinic.

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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