COVID-19 vaccinations in Geelong to begin

February 19, 2021 BY

The Pfizer vaccine, seen here, will be rolled out to priority groups first. Photo: MARY ALTAFFER/AP

CORONAVIRUS vaccinations across the Geelong region will start on Monday, with those people in priority groups who are most at risk and who need protection the most to receive a vaccine first.

The rollout will begin with the Pfizer vaccine for the initial priority groups, which comprise border/port workers and frontline healthcare workers, including staff in emergency care, acute wards, immunisation, COVID-19 testing, and aged care facilities.

Barwon South West Public Health Unit (PHU) director Professor Eugene Athan said Barwon Health was well prepared for the first vaccination on Monday.

“Our PHU has been working towards this day for many weeks now and we are confident the vaccination program will run smoothly on Monday.

“We expect to immunise more than 100 healthcare workers on Monday from high-risk areas like emergency departments and intensive care units at University Hospital Geelong, Epworth Hospital and St John of God.

“Staff and residents in Barwon Health’s aged care facilities will also receive the vaccine next week.

“Initially, around 2,000 people will receive vaccinations in the first phase of the Pfizer rollout over the coming weeks at Geelong and via an outreach model in Portland.”

People will require two appointments to obtain a vaccination certificate, with a follow-up booking made when the first immunisation takes place.

“The vaccine has been rigorously tested and is proven to be safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death related to COVID-19,” Prof. Athan said.

The PHU aims to establish more centres for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be given to the broader community during the later phases of the rollout.