GPs and pharmacists urge COVID-19 jabs as million-dose target set
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Pharmacy Guild are urging all Australians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
As of Monday this week, the AstraZeneca vaccine is available to everyone aged 18 and above at all 50 of the state’s vaccination hubs.
People aged in their 40s, 50s and 60s are eligible for Pfizer at all state hubs.
The increased access is part of a push to deliver one million vaccine doses to Victorians in five weeks, announced by Premier Daniel Andrews at the weekend.
The RACGP is also urging patients to receive both COVID-19 vaccine doses from the same vaccinator.
The college’s request follows comments from the Queensland Government earlier this month urging people to receive their first vaccine from their GP and their second in a pharmacy.
RACGP president Dr Karen Price said mixing up vaccine providers did not make sense.
“We need to get as many vaccinations done as soon as possible to combat this virus,” she said.
“If people opt to receive their vaccine from their GP or at a pharmacy, that is their choice. We need to ramp up our vaccination numbers so that must be the number one aim.
“However, it is vital that all people receive both vaccine doses from the same vaccinator.
“Continuity of care and patient safety must always be paramount, so receiving your jab from the same GP or pharmacy is the best option.
“We know that some communities are facing issues in terms of vaccine stock being available, but mixing and matching vaccinators will not resolve this problem.
“So please, get your first and second doses from the same vaccinator and play your part in keeping the community safe from harm.”
Pharmacy Guild national president Adjunct Professor Trent Twomey said the most important thing was for people to get vaccinated.
“The reality is that vaccination is the way out of the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.
“And there is no wrong way to get vaccinated.
“There is no wrong door to enter to get your vaccination
“There is no wrong vaccine to get.
“And increasingly the evidence is highlighting that there is no need for anyone to delay getting their vaccination while awaiting another brand as all are extremely effective.
“My message and that of all pharmacists and their fellow vaccinators is: ‘Just get vaccinated. If you’re over 18, get the vaccine’.
Mr Andrews said the most important thing people could to was to come forward and get vaccinated, to protect not just themselves but the people they love.
“Getting to 70 to 80 per cent [vaccinated], that is what we have to work towards and these one million jabs over the next five weeks are the best way that Victoria can make a contribution, not just to our state’s fortunes, but to our national strategy,” he said.
Mr Andrews expects 60 per cent of Victorians will be vaccinated by the end of September.
For a full list of vaccine eligibility criteria, head to the Coronavirus Victoria website.