30

Jul
2021

COVID vaccines allocated to areas of greatest need

The NSW Government’s redirection of state supplies of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from rural and regional areas to Year 12 students in Sydney will not affect local GP and Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic allocations, but does reduce the overall supplies currently available to our region

Healthy North Coast is helping to deliver the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout on the North Coast. This includes working closely with the state-run local health districts (LHDs) and frontline health services to ensure the most up-to-date information is shared.

Healthy North Coast Chief Executive Julie Sturgess said Australia’s vaccine rollout had gone through several changes since its launch in February this year.

‘This isn’t surprising given the enormity of the program,’ Ms Sturgess said. ‘The program has had to adapt to new information about the vaccines from authorities like the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and support our most vulnerable populations, which has included prioritising vaccine supply to outbreak areas.

‘It’s also not surprising that there is some confusion and frustration in our community because of these changes. Our frontline health services and staff are working around the clock to adjust to the changing nature of the rollout, supporting increased testing and vaccinations, as well as continuing to provide non-COVID services.

‘Given the current outbreak in Sydney, it’s appropriate that the program is reviewed and changes made to help protect those most at risk. Despite the temporary reduction in doses this will mean for the North Coast, we, too, continue to prioritise our most vulnerable populations.

‘We’re now working with residential aged care facilities and supporting local initiatives through GPs and the two LHDs in our region to vaccinate aged care staff. We’re also working with our local health district partners to support people who are experiencing homelessness in our region to get their COVID jabs.’

Ms Sturgess said a mobile service commenced in mid-July and this would improve access to COVID-19 vaccinations for hundreds of people sleeping rough. It will travel from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads over the coming weeks.

Healthy North Coast is urging people to stay patient, do the right things to continue to stay COVID-safe, and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

North Coast vaccination rollout — your questions answered

What are the latest local vaccination figures? 

Nearly 171,000 vaccine doses have been administered since the program began – 77% AstraZeneca and 23% Pfizer.

In the past week, a record 12,330 doses have been administered. The number of doses given per week has increased each week over the past month. 

How and where do I make an appointment to get vaccinated? 

The Vaccine Eligibility Checker is still the best way to find out where and when you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. It will help you find a clinic, based on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) vaccine recommendations.

What vaccine should I get? 

The Department of Health website has comprehensive, up-to-date information about who can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine or the Pfizer vaccine.

How do I register my interest in being vaccinated if I’m under 40? 

Use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker to find out when you can receive a vaccine. If you are eligible, you will be able to view vaccination locations and book an appointment.

If you are not yet eligible, you will be able to register your interest so that you can be notified when you are able to book.

People aged 18 to 39 years old can speak to their GP about receiving an AstraZeneca vaccine or book an appointment at a NSW Health vaccination clinic.

When will Pfizer availability improve on the North Coast? 

There is very strong demand for Pfizer vaccine, exceeding supply both locally and nationally, with up to 3 months waiting time. The Federal Government has committed to an increased Pfizer supply becoming available from mid-September.

How is vaccine supply being rolled out locally? 

Healthy North Coast is helping to coordinate the roll out of vaccines to general practices, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics and residential aged care facilities.

NSW Health is running vaccination clinics at local hospitals, as well as operating a number of pop-up clinics throughout the region.

A small number of pharmacies in the region will also begin providing AstraZeneca vaccinations for people aged over 60 in the near future.

Contact for media enquiries

Zoe Satherley (Mon-Wed)

Phone: 0428 623 093

Mike Hely (Wed-Fri)

Phone: 0437 978 473

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