Member for Terrigal and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, has launched a community-based campaign promoting COVID-19 vaccinations and encouraging local residents to “get back to what we love”.
Crouch said COVID-19 vaccinations are the key to the Central Coast’s freedom.
“We are in a race against time to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, because increasing our vaccination rate gives us the best shot at having restrictions eased,” he said.
“Getting vaccinated will allow us to get back to what we love most: reunions with family and friends, local businesses being reopened, sport matches being resumed and travel being allowed.”
Crouch said 21,000 Central Coast residents are currently being vaccinated each week.
“At this current speed it would take approximately nine more weeks before we reach the milestone of having 70 per cent of our region’s population fully vaccinated,” he said.
“The Central Coast’s current vaccination rate is on par with the rest of NSW, but there are approximately 128,000 local residents who haven’t even received one dose of the vaccine, and I know we can do better than this.
“Over 100 local pharmacies, General Practitioners and health clinics are now administering COVID-19 vaccines and I encourage everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet to make a booking.”
With Pfizer vaccinations still in short supply in the region, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging people aged 16-39 to consult with their GP on their options.
The Federal Government announced last week that the Pfizer vaccine will be made available to all Australians aged 16 to 39 on August 30 with bookings expected to come online from this week.
RACGP President, Dr Karen Price, said the news was a positive step forward in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, but encouraged residents aged 18-39 to consult with their GP and consider getting the AstraZeneca vaccine now rather than waiting for Pfizer vaccine.
“I recommend they book a consultation with their GP and discuss what option is best for them based on where they live, their life circumstances and medical history,” Price said.
“They may well make the informed decision that receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine now is suitable for them.
“There is no guarantee that younger people will be able to receive a Pfizer vaccine as soon as August 30 arrives.
The RACGP President also urged younger people to hold off on calling general practices.
“Please don’t contact your GP to book a Pfizer vaccine just yet,” she said.
“Our hard-working general practice staff are responding to this change and will no doubt be getting their systems in place for the August 30 expansion.
“I want to avoid a repeat of previous occasions this year when practices were inundated with calls and receptionists bore the brunt of frustrated patients.
“We want this to be an easy process for both them and you.
“Many younger people have wanted to be vaccinated for many months but have been put at the back at the queue again and again.
“The RACGP looks forward to a decision on vaccinating all 12 to 15 year olds and not just those who are already eligible because they live in a remote area, identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or have an underlying health condition.
“The Delta variant is hitting younger people, including children.
“We must do everything possible to keep them safe from harm and bring their parents along on the journey so that they feel comfortable and confident having their child vaccinated.”
Vaccination bookings can be made via the Federal Government’s eligibility checker at: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility.
Every Sunday between 7am and 3.30pm, Gosford and Wyong Hospitals operate as mass vaccination clinics, administering AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on a first-in first-served basis.
Crouch said the Federal Government is responsible for supply and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“NSW Health continues to work closely with the Federal Government to plan and implement a safe and effective vaccination program,” he said.