GP Clinics in the Mount Alexander Shire are preparing for a dramatic increase in appointments as the COVID-19 vaccination program rolls out across the country.
With vaccinations already underway for the 1A priority group, the next phase of vaccinations will focus on the 1B group. This group includes people over 70, healthcare workers, Indigenous adults, adults with specified medical conditions and a range of critical workers including defence, police, fire and emergency workers and meat processors.
Our local GP clinics are either yet to receive any COVID-19 vaccine or have received a very limited amount of vaccine. However, they are already overwhelmed with enquiries from patients trying to book appointments. The community is being urged to be patient, refrain from calling clinics about the vaccine and wait for their clinic to contact them.
Castlemaine Health’s Director of Medical Services said: “Local practices will manage vaccination roll-out for their own patients. They’ll be vaccinating their most vulnerable patients first. Your GP clinic is reviewing yours and all other patient information to assess vulnerability factors. They’ll contact you to arrange an appointment as soon as you’re eligible and vaccine is available.”
Community pharmacists will also take part in the vaccination program. However, vaccine supply is an issue facing all distribution hubs and vaccination clinics across the country.
Peter said: “In Phase 1b there are around six million people. Not everyone will be vaccinated immediately. While distribution may seem slow it will be equitable and carefully managed to ensure that no-one misses out.”
COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out in phases which have been determined by the Australian Government. In the Loddon Mallee region, Bendigo Health is the coordinating hub managing distribution. Allocation of the vaccine for the Mount Alexander Shire will depend on supply, with rollout to increase as more vaccine becomes available.
Health authorities are urging all Australians to get vaccinated.
Check out the eligibility calculator to find out which phase you are in: www.covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility. Want to know more about the rollout? Visit www.health.gov.au to find out more.
A Victorian Government COVID-19 vaccine hotline option has been established through its dedicated coronavirus hotline. People with general enquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout should ring 1800 675 398 (option 3).