Healthy North Coast is continuing to play a key role in supporting the Australian Government’s phased rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program.
Anyone can use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to determine when their turn to be vaccinated is coming up.
A centralised national online appointment booking portal is planned for the near future. It is anticipated that people will be able to make a vaccination appointment through the portal, or simply by phoning their nearest participating clinic.
The national rollout commenced on Monday 22 February. Right now, we are in Phase 1a. Phase 1b is planned to start late March/early April. In these phases, COVID-19 vaccinations are being offered to those who are at highest risk and are being organised by employers or care facilities. Check with your employer or care facility if you feel you are eligible.
The rollout is expected to reach Phase 2a and Phase 2b around the middle of 2021.
The Australian Government has made it clear that the COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary in Australia, however, strongly encourages people to get vaccinated. Vaccination is free for everyone.
Healthy North Coast’s goal is for every person in our region who wishes to be vaccinated to be able to do so by the end of this year.
To support this goal we are providing education, coordination, and mass vaccination planning support to residential aged care facilities (RACFs), general practices, GP respiratory clinics, Aboriginal medical services, pharmacies and residential disability facilities. This will ensure a timely and effective vaccine rollout in our communities from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads.
People Living in RACFs
Our region has about 6,000 aged care residents in 80 RACFs. In a welcome start to Phase1a of the vaccination program, as of yesterday, 545 residents have already been vaccinated.
There have been 315 in the Mid North Coast region, and 230 in the Far North Coast (Northern NSW) region. More residents will be vaccinated across both regions over coming weeks.
The Role of General Practices
Healthy North Coast continues to work with general practices preparing for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program for the general population.
Currently, more than 100 general practices in the Far North Coast (Northern NSW) and the Mid North Coast are planning to participate in the vaccine rollout.
Close to 13,000 vaccine doses for Phase 1b will start to be delivered to these general practices from late March/early April. More than 70 per cent of these supplies will be available from week 1 of the rollout. The remainder of the Phase 1b vaccine supplies will be delivered in weeks 2, 3 and 4.
We are supporting hundreds of highly qualified, skilled and dedicated doctors, nurses, administrators, care workers and pharmacists preparing to deliver all phases of the vaccine rollout to our local residents.
Aboriginal Health Services
Healthy North Coast and the Northern NSW and Mid North Coast Local Health Districts are supporting local Aboriginal health services to ensure they are ready to participate in the vaccination rollout.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has worked with the Commonwealth Department of Health to develop a range of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about COVID-19 vaccines. Click here to find out more.
COVID-19 Vaccines – Priority Rollout
Aged care and disability care residents and staff; quarantine, border and frontline healthcare workers.
Elderly adults aged 70 years and over; other health care workers including drug and alcohol workers; begin vaccinating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults; adults with a specified medical condition; adults with a disability who have a specified underlying medical condition; critical and high-risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services, and meat processing workers.
Adults aged 60-69 years; adults aged 50-59 years; continue vaccinating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults; other critical and high-risk workers.
Balance of adult population; catch up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases.
Those under 16 (if recommended).
Further information on the COVID-19 vaccination and the rollout can be found at Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and the COVID-19 Vaccines National Rollout Strategy. You may also wish to subscribe to the COVID-19 vaccines updates for regular and up-to-date information.