First NSW aged care facilities to get COVID vaccine
At least 240 aged care facilities will get a share of the available Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines next week across 190 Australian towns and cities.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed the vaccine will be taken directly to elderly people living in nursing homes from NSW locations including Orange, Gosford West, Blacktown and Penrith to remote and regional towns such as Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
"The point of that is that right across Australia, every state and territory, rural and regional, and urban areas will be covered," he said.
The government has also confirmed there will be 16 Pfizer hubs, where priority quarantine and health workers will be able to go to get their vaccine.
In NSW there will initially be three hubs based out of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Westmead Hospital and Liverpool Hospital.
Mr Hunt said the aim was to have all hotel quarantine workers vaccinated within three weeks, with the entire Phase 1A group to be completed in six weeks.
More than 142,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine - almost double the amount initially expected - arrived at Sydney Airport shortly after midday on Monday.
The precious cargo has been taken to a secure location, where the vaccine will undergo batch testing and quality assessment.
About 62,000 doses will be kept aside as insurance against unexpected supply chain issues so people are able to receive the second required dose in the correct time frame.
Of the remaining 80,000, about 50,000 will be distributed evenly among the states on a per head of population basis, where they will start to vaccinate priority quarantine, frontline health, disability and aged care workers.
The vaccine rollout will start on Monday February 22.
The federal government will retain about 30,000 doses to be distributed to aged care facilities in metro and regional Australia.
Health Department Secretary Professor Brendan Murphy said the vaccine rollout was the biggest and most complex "in the history of the nation".
"We know we are asking a lot of everybody in this huge and complex task," he said.
"Much of it is being done very quickly but safely.
"We know there will be bumps in the road as we commence this task, unanticipated problems which we will solve together with our partners."
Prof Murphy said all the vaccines would be recorded online so people had easy access to proof.
"Everyone's vaccination will be in the Australian Immunisation Register and it can be accessed through Medicare for proof of vaccination, both online and in a hard copy, as
required," he said.
"Your immunisation history will record both COVID-19 vaccinations following each dose."
FIRST AGED CARE HOME LOCATIONS IN NSW
- Barden Ridge
- Collaroy Plateau
- Dean Park
- Emu Plains
- Gosford West
- Mount Austin
- Point Clare
- Port Macquarie
- Stanwell Park
- Terrey Hills
- Umina Beach
- Wagga Wagga
- Woy Woy
FIRST PFIZER HUB LOCATIONS
- Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (NSW)
- Westmead Hospital (NSW)
- Liverpool Hospital (NSW)
- Monash Medical Centre Clayton (VIC)
- Sunshine Hospital (VIC)
- Austin Health (VIC)
- University Hospital Geelong (VIC)
- Gold Coast University Hospital (QLD)
- Cairns Hospital (QLD)
- Princess Alexandra Hospital (QLD)
- Royal Adelaide Hospital (SA)
- Flinders Medical Centre (SA)
- Perth Children's Hospital (WA)
- Royal Hobart Hospital (TAS)
- The Canberra Hospital (ACT)
- Royal Darwin Hospital (NT)
Originally published as First NSW aged care facilities to get COVID vaccine