The vaccine rollout continues

We said goodbye to June with a snap lockdown and the Delta variant of COVID-19 making footholds in almost every state in Australia.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout hit a milestone on 30 June, with 4 million vaccinations administered via primary care across Australia, highlighting the pivotal role of general practice in this endeavour.

With the combined efforts of hardworking GPs and the WA Department of Health, more than nine per cent of Western Australians are fully vaccinated.

In June, an expression of interest was put to general practices taking part in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to deliver the Pfizer vaccine to the community. As a result, 137 WA general practices will begin administering Pfizer in July, with approximately 64,000 doses to be delivered this month. The Pfizer rollout will scale-up in the coming months as supply increases nationally.

WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington, said the speed at which day-to-day life can change as a result of COVID-19 was never clearer than on her recent return from Queensland, landing just 15 minutes after border restrictions were imposed.

“Emerging from 14 days of, relatively comfortable, home isolation, I now have an even deeper appreciation of how important the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is and, by extension, WA Primary Health Alliance’s role therein.

“Despite lockdowns and sometimes daily changes to the rollout, our general practice and residential aged care teams continue to work quickly and diligently to ensure the program runs smoothly.

“In recent weeks, the program has had to adjust to changes in advice and recommendations from Federal Government, State Government and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Each change prompted a rapid response within the program to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information was provided to stakeholders.”

In a significant achievement for all involved, all second dose visits have been completed within WA residential aged facilities.

As it is now mandatory for all aged care staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by September, our staff are coordinating with the WA Department of Health to get people working within the sector their recommended vaccine before that deadline.

Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics/GP Respiratory Clinics have been able to administer the Pfizer vaccine since May and had great uptake within their local communities in June.

The City of Albany had the highest vaccination rate in regional WA in June. A representative of Albany-based Pioneer Health Clinic confirmed the Pfizer clinics they have been running, as a Commonwealth Vaccination Centre, had been well received by the community.

“From a practice perspective, the considerable amount of time the team puts into managing bookings, vaccine stock and clinic structure results in the clinics themselves running very smoothly.”

With our COVID-19 HealthPathways suite accessed more than 3500 times in June, our editors continue to work diligently, sometimes through the night, to ensure COVID-19 pages reflect current information and are clinically accurate.

Learn more about our role in supporting general practices, residential aged care facilities and our funded service providers across Western Australia to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.