Springs Medical is now taking bookings for COVID vaccinations. Clinics will be held on Saturday and Sunday and, if required, after hours during the week.

People in the 1b group are now eligible for vaccinations. This includes people who are 70 or over and those below 70 with specific medical conditions that put them at risk. You can check your eligibility here and if you want the complete detailed description of the 1b group look here.

Springs Medical is asking people eligible for the 1b group to book in for a vaccination appointment. Bookings can be made online or by ringing the clinic (5348 2227). Other people, not in the 1b group need to wait until further notice. It is unclear when the rest of the population will be eligible for vaccinations.

Patients on the waiting list will be informed of their appointment by text or telephone as Springs receives deliveries. An appointment for the second dose will automatically be booked 12 weeks later.

The Commonwealth Government is responsible for the distribution of vaccines. Vaccine deliveries to the Springs are weekly.

Vaccine cleared for use after concerns

The overwhelming majority of people will be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine is relatively inexpensive and can be stored in a vaccine specific fridge, making it easy to transport.

Recently there has been some concern about the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine that has led some people to be unsure whether or not they should have a vaccination. The European  Medicines agency has now cleared the AstraZeneca vaccine and European countries have resumed vaccinations. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in Australia after carefully reviewing the evidence, including recent concerns about the vaccine. The vaccines are considered very safe.

Both the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious disease and death from COVD. The available evidence from clinical trials suggests the AstraZeneca vaccine is about 80 percent effective at preventing COVID symptoms and 100 percent effective at preventing serious disease and death.

Patience will be required

Although there are currently disruptions and shortages in the distribution of the vaccine it is expected that a million doses a week will become available over the next month. But even with increased vaccine doses, staffing limits means it will probably take until the end of the year for most of the population to be fully vaccinated.