Doctors on Darling would like to update you on the current situation with the COVID-19 Vaccine
The first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Australia on Monday 15/02/2021 – this began rolling 22/02/2021 to Aged care facilities, Hotel quarantine workers and frontline health workers (ie: emergency departments) – this vaccine will not be used at this stage for the general public, due to it requiring storage at extreme freezing temperatures. This is known as phase 1a of the roll out plan.
The Therapeutic Goods administration (TGA) – the body that approves vaccines and medication in Australia, has approved another vaccine, made by Astra Zeneca, this is the vaccine that will be administered to the public under the Federal Governments roll out plan – Phase 1b.
The Government is currently suggesting this will be rolled out early March.
General Practice were asked to submit an “Expression of Interest” in being involved in administering the COVID-19 Vaccine. Over 5000 practices submitted a EOI – 1000 of which will be accepted to deliver the phase 1b vaccinations. We do not know if we will be one of the chosen practices.
Phase 1b will be given to:
- Aged > 70 year
- Those of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
- Those more likely to experience sever illness form COVID (we are waiting for the definition of who this will be)
- Emergencies workers
- Other healthcare professionals
The Government will announce to the public when the vaccines are available for distribution – there are plans for a National Booking system, patients will have to prove that they meet the criteria for the phase of the roll out.
Once we know whether we will be involved in phase 1b of the roll out – we will communicate with our patient base through our website, Facebook and where applicable SMS.
For further information, patients are best to search NSW Health: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/covid-vaccination.aspx or the Federal Health department: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines