The COVID vaccine rollout has started at Springs Medical and is proceeding smoothly according to CEO Emma Johns.

The rollout descended into acrimony last week with State and Federal government representatives blaming failures on each other.

Many GP clinics and hospital centres charged with implementing the rollout have complained about supply issues which have disrupted their plans and caused cancellations of appointments and difficulty in planning appropriate staffing.

“We haven’t had any such issues at Springs Medical”, said Ms Johns. “We don’t book appointments until we have supply. We can move patients across from our wait list as soon as vaccines arrive and communicate with patients about the time and date of their appointment.”

Springs Medical is running vaccination clinics on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday so that vaccination appointments do not interfere with usual clinic operations. They have put on extra reception staff to cope with the additional workload.

“We have a great space at 10 Hospital St and our planning for the clinics ensures that our space is used efficiently and effectively.  Our waiting rooms allow for a dedicated observation space post vaccination and we spent a long time ensuring patient flow was as efficient as possible,” said Ms Johns.

Springs Medical is taking vaccination bookings for people in the 1B group  including people 70 and over and those with underlying health conditions. The Department of Health website provides clear guidelines to identify those eligible under phase 1b of the vaccine rollout.

“We have a great team that really work well together, said Ms Johns. “Planning for the clinics has been key and we’re really proud to be a part of this roll out.  I want to acknowledge the massive amount of work by our entire team, not only through the COVID-19 vaccine rollout but for their efforts since the pandemic began.  I am so proud to lead this team.”

Central Highlands Rural Health’s COVID-19 vaccination program began mid-March with the initial rollout focused on phase 1a frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable aged care residents.

At the present time, they say they are unable to offer community-based COVID-19 vaccinations at any of their campuses. Should this change, they will provide further information to local communities. Community based vaccinations are being administered by large hospitals and select GP clinics.

Refer to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccines page for information on local COVID-19 vaccination providers, including General Practices, GP-led Respiratory Clinics and Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services and community pharmacies.

You can also call the national coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline 1800 020 080.