With the first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine already being delivered at aged care facilities, Peninsula GPs are preparing for the next stage of the rollout, set to commence at practices throughout the region from March 22.
Primary Health Network CEO, Richard Nankervis, said GPs had been advised on March 5 when they could expect deliveries of the vaccine.
“They were provided with the necessary details to begin planning for their part in one of the greatest logistical challenges in Australia’s history,” Nankervis said.
“We are anticipating there will be significant demand for the vaccine in the initial weeks of this Phase 1b roll out.
“However, there will be a limited amount of vaccine stock available until local production of the vaccine can be ramped up to meet demand.
“To help manage demand comprehensive modelling has been undertaken to efficiently and equitability manage the distribution of vaccine across our region.
“This means that the vaccine will be delivered first to those general practices that have higher numbers of patients in priority groups that have been identified using public health, medical and epidemiological evidence.”
Priority population groups in this phase will include: people 70 years of age or older; health care workers; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55 years; younger people with an underlying medical condition, including people with a disability; and critical and high-risk workers.
“In our region we expect that first phase will include over 180,000 people over the age of 70 and more than 12,000 Aboriginal people over the age of 55,” Nankervis said.
“The coming weeks will be an extremely busy time for GPs as they prepare for the rollout of the vaccine and we are urging the community to await further advice on how to book in for their vaccination.
“A significant community information campaign of how to book in for a vaccination will begin prior to March 22 and it is important that local general practices are not overwhelmed with enquiries as they still need to provide care to their regular day to day patients.
“In preparation for the vaccine rollout the PHN is recommending people visit the online vaccine eligibility checker which is located at covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au. to find out what phase of the rollout they are eligible for.”
Media release, Mar 8
Primary Health Network