The clinics where Victorians can get their COVID-19 vaccinations
Nearly four weeks after it began, the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout is moving into its second phase, with about six million more people eligible to get their jab from Monday. By Wednesday, 203,557 people had received their coronavirus vaccine nationally, including 42,989 people in Victoria.
On Monday, the nation should enter phase 1b, with doses to be administered in GP clinics. Included in phase 1b are healthcare workers who did not receive their vaccines in phase 1a, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 55 and over, other Australians aged 70 and over, younger adults with a qualifying underlying medical condition or disability and disability carers, and critical and high-risk workers, including those in defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing.
Find your nearest clinic with our interactive map:
In a slight variation to the original rollout plan, families of border and quarantine workers and aircrew will also be eligible to receive their vaccines.
The federal government has provided a long list of underlying medical conditions which allow a person to receive their vaccine in phase 1b. Common ones include cancer, diabetes, heart or lung disease, severe obesity (BMI > 40) and neurological conditions including stroke, MS, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s.
It has also released an online quiz people can take to determine if they are eligible to be vaccinated.
From Monday, the federal government has promised vaccinations will be available at 1000 GP clinic across the country, as well as 100 Commonwealth clinics. Of these GP clinics, 285 are in Victoria.
The vaccination of healthcare workers and other people in phase 1a will continue at the state’s hospital hubs, with the state government expressing its intention to keep these hubs open as the rollout continues.
Phase 1a focused on people working in the quarantine system – nearly all of whom have been vaccinated – as well as frontline health workers, and aged care staff and residents.
Australia is aiming to have 5000 places for people to receive their vaccine, including 4600 GP clinics.
People eligible for the vaccine in phase 1a have been directed to book through the online national booking service or a GP’s own booking system.
However, on Wednesday, Victorian clinics said they were inundated with requests for COVID-19 vaccine bookings they could not make because they had not yet received their vaccine doses.
Bernard Shiu, the director of Geelong’s Banksia Medical Centre and deputy chair of the Victorian branch of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said his clinic was caught off guard when more than 150 patients phoned to book COVID-19 vaccinations.
“We can’t book anyone in until we see how many vaccinations we are getting,” Dr Shiu said.
He said the federal government had previously told GPs patients were to book online, but its website was instructing people to phone clinics directly.
“It’s disappointing,” he said. “We want to make sure patients come to their GP to get vaccinated, and we want to make sure the process is as smooth as possible.”
The RACGP asked Australians to wait three weeks before booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment to ease the demand.
With Jackson Graham
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