17 May 2021

AstraZeneca jabs now available at Canberra GPs for over 50s

| Dominic Giannini
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Nurse prepares vaccine at Calvary clinic

Registered nurse Marisha Christian prepares the COVID-19 vaccine at the new Calvary vaccination centre. Photo: Supplied.

Thousands more Canberrans are eligible to receive their COVID-19 jab from today (17 May) as general practitioners join the vaccine rollout for people over the age of 50.

Over 50s became eligible to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine from 3 May, but it could only be accessed at Territory-run clinics.

Around 40,000 Canberrans between the age of 50 and 69 became eligible under phase 2A.

The Commonwealth Government has also increased the number of vaccines allocated to participating GP clinics from 50 to 150 a week.

A further 19 ACT clinics have had their allocation doubled to 200 doses per week. The four larger clinics in the ACT will continue to receive 400 doses per week.

The rollout’s progression coincided with the opening of the ACT Government-run AstraZeneca hub at Calvary Hospital, which has the capacity to administer around 600 to 800 jabs a week.

The Garran centre continues to administer the Pfizer vaccine to people under 50 who are eligible under phase 1a and 1b but have not yet been vaccinated.

Rachel Stephen-Smith receives her flu shot

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has also encouraged Canberrans to get their flu shot this year. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said there had been a strong uptake for the AstraZeneca vaccine through the Calvary clinic.

“We have seen a really positive response from the Canberra community,” she said.

“I encourage people to consider contacting a Commonwealth-registered GP to receive their vaccine.

“GPs are well prepared and trained to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and best placed to speak to any person who has a concern about their individual health circumstances.”

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The ACT Government has asked the Commonwealth to redistribute some of its AstraZeneca allocations to GPs. It continues to receive enough supply of both vaccines to fill appointments at the Calvary and Garran centres.

Canberrans have also been encouraged to get their flu shot following a record number of jabs in 2020 during the pandemic.

The flu shot needs to be taken at least two weeks from any COVID-19 vaccine to minimise any side effects from the vaccines.

There were only 200 recorded cases of the flu in the ACT last year compared to more than 4000 the year before, mainly due to social distancing measures and a focus on hygiene during the pandemic.

More than 15 million Australians are expected to get the flu jab this year.

To receive the COVID-19 vaccine, eligible Canberrans can book an appointment:

  • Using the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker to find a participating GP or a link to ACT Government vaccination clinics
  • Online using MyDHR for ACT Government vaccination clinics in Garran and Bruce,
  • Or by calling the ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination booking line on 5124 7700 (8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday) if you cannot access the online booking system or do not have a Medicare card.

For more information about the vaccine’s rollout in the ACT, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au/vaccine.

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ChrisinTurner7:13 pm 17 May 21

Why has the supply of vaccine to GPs been delayed? If GPs are capable of giving us our annual flu jab, why were they not used already?

Because they were keeping supply mainly centralised early on because of the efficiencies of doing so with a limited supply.

Now that the supply levels are increasing, more doses to a wider amount of GP’s can be afforded to ramp up the program as has been obviously been occurring in the last few weeks.

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