Feb

18

Latest Developments: North Coast COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Healthy North Coast, the local organisation delivering the Australian Government’s PHN program, is helping to coordinate parts of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in our region.

As details of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program continue to develop, Healthy North Coast is:

  • working with local general practices to prepare for future stages of the rollout,
  • supporting residential aged care facilities with timely information, and
  • planning support for our communities that encourages our region to be informed and involved.

Phase 1a — Residents of Aged Care Facilities Will Start Receiving Vaccinations 

The Australian Government is ensuring those who are particularly vulnerable to the worst effects of the COVID-19 virus receive the earliest protection, so priority is being given to older people living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs).

This first phase of the vaccination program using Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine and being delivered by Healthcare Australia is set to start next week — including on the North Coast — and the Department of Health is supporting RACF staff to prepare. An information and readiness toolkit has been sent to RACFs to help those who will be part of this early-stage rollout.

Healthy North Coast is supporting Mid North Coast and Northern NSW RACFs, who continue to benefit from the local network connections established as part of the early 2020 COVID-19 pandemic response. The latest information and resources are being shared across the network so that North Coast RACF residents continue to receive the best care and support throughout the pandemic response.

Phase 1a media enquiries:

  • Vaccination rollout to RACFs is being managed centrally by the Australian Government, which has today announced the first locations — please contact [email protected] or phone (02) 6289 7400 for related media enquiries
  • Vaccination rollout to frontline health care worker subgroups for prioritisation is being managed by NSW Health — please contact them directly for related media enquiries.

Phase 1b — Limited Number of General Practices Will Provide Vaccination Clinics    

General practices selected to participate in Phase 1b of the rollout, scheduled to commence in March with the TGA provisionally approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, will play a critical role in protecting North Coast residents against the COVID-19 virus.

Over 50 per cent of all accredited North Coast general practices recently submitted an EOI to be a part of this first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Initially, only a small number of general practices will participate in providing large-scale vaccination clinics. In consultation with Healthy North Coast, the Australian Government’s Department of Health will select practices based on key criteria including, but not limited to, location, population coverage and access, readiness and service infrastructure.

The Government has indicated that over time all accredited general practices will have the opportunity to provide the vaccine. The majority of general practices that have expressed interest to support the vaccination rollout program will commence vaccination from Phase 2 onwards.

Established GP-run respiratory clinics, which have played a critical role in providing local COVID-19 assessment and testing, and Aboriginal health services and pharmacies will also participate in the vaccination program’s future stages.

Assessing North Coast Need 

Through local data modelling, Healthy North Coast has analysed population health information and primary care service availability to help plan for the local delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination program. This modelling helps to assess our areas of high need and provides evidence for recommending priority areas.

Healthy North Coast’s modelling incorporates:

  • Population health and geographic data matched to each phase of the vaccine roadmap
  • General practice data supplied in the recent EOI process
  • Provider availability such as the addition of GP respiratory clinics, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) and pharmacies.

Staying COVID Safe Is as Important as Ever 

Healthy North Coast supports the Australian Government’s staged vaccination strategy that’s designed around limited vaccine availability and the prioritisation of high-risk groups and regions of need.

While the Australian COVID-19 vaccination program is starting next week, with the first supply of vaccines being distributed as part of Phase 1a, it will be months before everyone in our region will access vaccines.

Healthy North Coast CEO Julie Sturgess emphasises the importance of maintaining hygiene practices, physical distancing and testing for COVID-19 throughout 2021.

“As the COVID-19 vaccination program gets set to start, and despite the relatively low numbers of local cases we’ve experienced in our region, we can’t let our guard down,” Ms Sturgess said.

“We need to remain vigilant about preventing the spread of the virus. If you’re experiencing even mild symptoms, make sure you get tested early at one of our local testing centres,” Ms Sturgess added.

North Coast health professionals and community members are encouraged to sign up to Healthy North Coast’s regular emails for the latest COVID-19 information and updates on the local vaccination rollout: hnc.org.au/subscribe 

Media Enquiries 

  • Media enquiries relating to the delivery of the Phase 1a COVID-19 vaccine in residential aged care facilities should be made to the Department of Health, telephone (02) 6289 7400 or email [email protected] 
  • For more information about the Phase 1a delivery of vaccines to frontline health workers, contact NSW Health.
  • All other media enquiries can be directed to Healthy North Coast’s media team.

Contact for more Information

Mike Hely

Phone: 0437 978 473

Get our newsletter and events straight to your inbox. Subscribe Today

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.