March 29th, 2021COVID vaccine roll-out in Hepburn Shire
In May last year resident Margaret Wheeler, pictured with nurse Akua Ed Nignpense, was forced to greet her granddaughter Alice through the window of the aged care facility due to COVID restrictions.
Now, almost a year later, she was one of the first to get the vaccine as part of Central Highlands Rural Health roll-out to residents in Creswick, Daylesford and Trentham aged care facilities. More than 70 residents across the three sites rolled up their sleeves to receive the vaccine.
Margaret said the vaccine was a necessity. “I think it’s quite important, it keeps us safe. It’s one of those necessary things we need. We know we’re well taken care of. They (the staff here) try their very best.”
Specialist trained nurse immunisers administered the first dose of the vaccine to residents, which will be followed by a second dose in the coming weeks.
Central Highlands Rural Health’s CEO Maree Cuddihy said the lockdowns brought about by this pandemic had not been easy for residents, their families or the staff who care for them.
“We want to be able to welcome visitors to our homes without worry. The vaccine helps us protect our residents from the COVID-19 virus.”
Ms Cuddihy said Central Highlands Rural Health continued to work with the Grampians and Loddon-Mallee vaccinations hubs, as well as state and federal governments on the roll-out program.
In response to a query from The Local after contact from some older residents being told they were on a waitlist and would not be vaccinated until May, Dr Peter Sloan, a director of Medical Services at Central Highlands Rural Health said:
“We know in the early stages of the phase 1b rollout, the government has targeted general practices, GP-led respiratory clinics and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health services to provide the vaccine.
“In Phase 1b there are around six million people so not everyone will be vaccinated immediately, however the GP clinics will vaccinate their most vulnerable patients first. While distribution may seem slow it will be equitable and carefully managed to ensure that no-one misses out.”
Springs Medical manager Emma Johns said the clinic would be operating its dedicated COVID-19 vaccine phase 1b clinics from the Daylesford site and were expecting weekly deliveries of the vaccine.
“Our first clinics will be run from March 27 for phase 1b eligible people. For those people already on our wait list, we will contact you to confirm your appointment date and time. If you would like to reserve your place on our wait list, please visit our website or call our reception team. We ask everyone to remember to bring their completed COVID-19 vaccine consent form to their clinic appointment.”
Details: www.health.gov.au or 1800 020 080.
Words: Donna Kelly | Images: Sandy Scheltema