Thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered; Pfizer on the way

Vaccine front line: Victor Medical Centre's Dr Tim Sullivan and nurse Bree Kairl have been busy vaccinating members of the south coast community. Photo: Jack Manning.
Vaccine front line: Victor Medical Centre's Dr Tim Sullivan and nurse Bree Kairl have been busy vaccinating members of the south coast community. Photo: Jack Manning.

More than 7500 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been administered by Victor Medical Centre (VMC) staff, since the organisation opened a vaccination clinic in Port Elliot on March 1.

Doctors at VMC have delivered more than 5400 first dose AstraZeneca vaccines to the eligible population and more than 2200 second doses, with another 3000 booked in.

A majority of these vaccinations have been accessed at the Port Elliot vaccine clinic at a rate of about 450 per week.

Currently, a 12 week wait period is recommended between the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine for best coverage.

VMC CEO Richard Pierce said it was pleasing to see the number of people taking up vaccinations.

"There have been hiccups along the way, especially from the distribution office, but we are pleased with how smoothly the program has run for us," he said.

"We have received a lot of positive feedback. There was some complacency before the latest COVID-19 outbreaks started and we had noticed a drop off in appointments. Since then, the appointments have very quickly filled up.

"There are appointments available over the next few weeks and now that pharmacies are also offering vaccines, there is a greater capacity."

Mr Pierce said VMC would soon have access to Pfizer vaccines.

"VMC has placed an expression of interest with the federal government to get access to the Pfizer vaccine and it is highly likely we will have it in the coming months," he said.

"It might not be until September and at that point it will go to priority groups initially. As supply increases, the eligibility will be expanded to more people.

"We will let the community know when it is available, unfortunately we cannot take bookings now."

For those with concerns or hesitancy about receiving a COVID-19 jab, Mr Pierce said they should speak to a healthcare professional.

"I'd encourage those who are uncertain to speak to their doctor and discuss any issues they may have so they can get the best advice available," he said.

"The current advice is that for eligible patients, the risks are fairly low compared to if you actually caught COVID-19, which is in line with most other vaccines and medications."