Aged residents the first to be vaccinated

Beatrice ‘Biddy’ Abrahams was the first to receive the jab

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations has finally hit the Peninsula after delays to the scheme resulted in disappointment from aged care providers.

Some residents at Peninsula Villages were the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on March 2, with 104-year-old resident Beatrice ‘Biddy’ Abrahams racing to get the first jab.

CEO of Peninsula Villages, Shane Neaves, said both staff and residents were “very pleased” the process had finally taken place.

“We are proud of the staff involved in planning, who did an excellent job in setting up a process that was both efficient and safe, with checks and measures to ensure residents were given autonomy in their decision and assurance that the process was safe,” Neaves said.

“We want to thank our wonderful residents for being patient, understanding, helpful and cooperative throughout the day … their combined efforts made the process a complete success.”

Local aged care facilities were expected to be among the first to participate in the national vaccine rollout from Monday, February 22, but received last-minute notices to postpone.

Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said the rollout was delayed to accommodate the “highly complex” storage and handling requirements of the vaccine.

“The Department notes that last minute changes to the schedule have been made in some instances to accommodate vaccine delivery windows, consent arrangements at the residential aged care facility and cold chain management,” Wicks said.

“The Department of Health and the Vaccine Operations Centre are working closely with residential aged care facilities and the primary health networks to manage rollout scheduling and to ensure information is being effectively communicated with as much notice as possible.

“We are continually reviewing processes to ensure efficient and safe practises are upheld, particularly for our most vulnerable.”

After a two week wait for their rescheduled date, Bluewave Living received its vaccine program on Monday, March 8, with CEO Matt Downie grateful for the move.

“We are very pleased our residents have now been given the vaccine … many of them took up the opportunity,” Downey said.

“We did put extra staff on to assist with the process.”

However, Woy Woy’s Hammond Care is still awaiting confirmation on its rescheduled date to receive the vaccine.

With 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab arriving in Sydney on February 28, hopes of extending the rollout continue as frontline healthcare workers and border workers line up for the jab.

Maisy Rae