Healthy North Coast is working with residential aged care facilities (RACFs) and general practice clinics to help them plan for and deliver COVID-19 vaccines across the North and Mid North Coast region, as part of the Commonwealth’s national rollout.
Almost 30,000 Australians have been vaccinated to date, according to Health Minister Greg Hunt, including 8,110 aged care and disability residents throughout 117 care facilities.
In a media release on Monday, Minister Hunt said that both the state and territory teams alongside the aged care in-reach teams are ramping up their operations, with more vaccines being distributed across the country in the next week.
Last week, Healthcare Australia’s clinical workforce, who are contracted to deliver the RACF COVID-19 vaccine rollout, started delivering vaccinations in Northern NSW aged care.
Some North Coast RACFs who had planned to start vaccinations last week are rescheduling and expect to be offering vaccines in the coming weeks. Despite some of the logistical challenges that are expected with such a large-scale program, RACF staff remain positive.
“Extremely pleased” is how Andrew Tucker, General Manager of Adventist Senior Living in Alstonville feels about the successful vaccine rollout at his facility last week.
“We had 42 residents vaccinated in one day with everyone feeling very positive about the outcome and hopeful that this brings us closer to life returning to normal,” he said.
“I am very proud of our staff and the tremendous effort everyone put in, not only on the day, but in advance of the event as well.
“We put a lot of time and effort into the education process with all residents and their families. Everyone received an extensive information pack and a Q & A information sheet, as well as having personal one-on-one conversations to allay any concerns they might have had, and to ensure they were giving informed consent.
“We liaised with the residents’ GPs to make sure that they were involved with the vaccine rollout and we supported our staff to be very well prepared.
“Overall, the day was really well received by staff and residents alike. Now we are planning for the second dose to be given in three weeks’ time.”
In other positive news, the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Australia on the weekend and general practice clinics are gearing up to being able to deliver these across our region. This vaccine will at some future point be produced locally by CSL in Australia.
Over 100 general practice clinics on the North Coast and Mid North Coast have been approved by the Commonwealth to participate in the vaccine rollout for the general population. Clinic staff are getting ready to start vaccinating once supplies and dates are confirmed by the Commonwealth.
This is a complex undertaking and the largest vaccine rollout in Australia’s history, with plan revisions occurring frequently to ensure the very best outcomes are achieved for all Australians.
Healthy North Coast will continue to coordinate the local vaccine rollout and make information available about starting dates, vaccine availability, supply volume, and other important milestones as they are confirmed by the Commonwealth. By working together across our region, we can help ensure this essential community service is rolled out safely and as quickly as possible.
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