Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Shire residents will have access to another local vaccine provider through the expansion of Central Highlands Rural Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at Kyneton Health.

Working with the Loddon-Mallee Vaccination Hub based at Bendigo Health, Kyneton Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Centre will open its doors to people in phases 1a, 1b and 2a, including those over 40, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16 and over, adults with an underlying medical condition or significant disability, healthcare workers and other critical and high-risk workers. The clinic will administer both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccinations in line with government guidelines and is likely to open to the public mid to late June.

Central Highlands Rural Health CEO Maree Cuddihy said: “We will be running a very small community vaccine clinic initially – most likely on a Tuesday morning. We’re still seeing huge numbers of people for COVID-19 swabbing and we need to be able to continue to offer this very important service to our community. The expansion of our Vaccination Centre to phase 2a will be in addition to other providers in our community such as GPs, who are already doing a great job vaccinating locals.”

Community members wishing to get a COVID-19 vaccination at Kyneton Health will need to visit the Central Highlands Rural Health website to book (booking portal coming soon), as walk-in appointments will not be available.

“Unlike the bigger vaccination hubs, we will have a limited number of vaccines on our clinic days. We want to make this as user friendly as possible for our community and we think an online booking system will give patients easy visibility of vaccine availability at Kyneton Health. They’ll be able to make the choice that best suits their circumstances on whether to come to us for their vaccine, or go elsewhere,” Ms Cuddihy said.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at Kyneton Health initially opened in mid-March for healthcare and other frontline workers in category 1a. In line with government guidelines, it expanded to include phase 1b in April. Central Highlands Rural Health offered the first round of COVID-19 vaccines to its Aged Care residents in Trentham, Daylesford and Creswick in March and continues to work with both the Loddon-Mallee and Grampians Vaccination Hubs on the ongoing vaccination rollout across the region.

With people aged 40 years and over now being urged to get their first dose of vaccine, Ms Cuddihy is proud of Central Highlands Rural Health’s role in supporting the community with the long-term containment of COVID-19.

Right now, we’re hearing two very important messages – if you have the slightest symptoms, get tested; and, if you are aged 40 years and over, get vaccinated. It’s fantastic that Central Highlands Rural Health will be able to offer both services to our local community,” Ms Cuddihy said.

 The COVID-19 Vaccination Centre will open mid to late June at Kyneton Health, 7-25 Caroline Chisholm Drive, Kyneton.  Bookings will be required through an online booking system (coming soon). Please check the website for more information.