GP frustration

July 20, 2021 BY

Member for Corangamite has met with local doctors, including Dr Bernard Shiu, who are frustrated with the COVID19 vaccination rollout which they say is being impacted by availability and confusion in the community.

As New South Wales battles the latest COVID19 wave and Victoria remains on high alert, a Jan Juc GP wants the vaccination system changed to enable more people to be vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Medical practitioner at Karuna-maya Medicine in Jan Juc, Dr Paddy Crowe has been a GP for over 40 years and he is frustrated with the rollout of the program and the procurement of vaccines.

Dr Crowe is one of several doctors to raise concerns with Member for Corangamite Libby Coker MP.

Ms Coker has urged the government to listen to doctors about what needs to happen to speed up the vital vaccination program rollout.

“The biggest problem my clinic has faced with the vaccine rollout is that we receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in multi-dose vials,” Dr Crowe said.

“This means we have to administer vaccines 10 doses at a time and have had to set up COVID 19 vaccine clinics to do this. Setting up these clinics pulls resources away from our normal work,” he said.

“Currently I administer around 30 doses of AstraZeneca per week, but I could be doing 20 a day during regular appointments if we received the vaccines in single doses,” he said.

“The reason the federal government ordered multi-doses of AstraZeneca is because it’s much cheaper than single doses, but it’s slowing down the vaccine rollout.”

Dr Crowe said he had experienced the same issues for the past several years with flu vaccines.

“Frequently, we would order 200 flu vaccines and only 30 would arrive,” he said, explaining other GPs were also disenchanted with vaccine procurement and program rollout.

Newcombe medical practice owner, Director of the Australian General Practice Alliance and Deputy Chair of the Royal Australasian College of GPs in Victoria, Dr Bernard Shiu, has also raised concerns in the media and with Ms Coker about the vaccination program.

He has said confusion in the community about vaccinations had grown because of contradictory advice on AstraZeneca and he has encouraged young people to speak with their GP if they had concerns.

Meanwhile, according to federal government data on July 12, 35.6 percent of the Australian adult population had received their first COVID19 dose, compared with 26.4 percent of New Zealanders, 77 percent of United States residents and 39.6 percent of South Koreans.