28 June 2021

Look inside the ACT's new Pfizer vaccination hub

| Dominic Giannini
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Felicity Manson and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at Canberra Airport precinct COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic

Felicity Manson, clinical nurse manager, and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at the Canberra Airport precinct COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The ACT’s second Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinic, at the Canberra Airport precinct, is already booked out until the end of July 2021.

The clinic, located at 30 Nomad Drive in Pialligo, opens today (Tuesday, 29 June) and Canberrans have already booked thousands of appointments. The new hub will administer 1500 Pfizer jabs each week until the vaccine supply increases.

The clinic will then have the capacity to administer 3000 doses a week when second doses become due, three weeks after people receive their first Pfizer shot.

Initially, three rooms will be used to vaccinate people, with the second half of the building available as supply expands.

Treatment room at Canberra Airport precinct COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic

A treatment room at the Canberra Airport precinct COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The clinic will be staffed with 12 nurses a day before increasing to 25, with an additional administration team.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it is the government’s aim to vaccinate the ACT population as fast as possible.

“The statistics are very good in terms of vaccine take up in the ACT,” he said.

Almost 155,000 jabs had been administered in the ACT as of 26 June. Just under 10 per cent of the Territory’s population above the age of 16 were fully vaccinated as of 24 June.

Canberra Health Services’ chief operations officer, Cathie O’Neill, is very proud of Canberrans for taking up the COVID-19 vaccine.

“[People] have been coming out in droves to get vaccinated,” she said. “We have not had to do any significant marketing for our appointments, which is great.

“We have been keen to expand as soon as we can get additional supply. We always knew we would have a trajectory of increasing the requirement for both staff and for facilities.”

Canberra Health Services’ chief operations officer, Cathie O’Neill

Canberra Health Services’ chief operations officer, Cathie O’Neill, is pleased with the take-up of the COVID-19 vaccine in Canberra. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

While people trying to get a Pfizer vaccine will have to book more than a month in advance at the ACT’s two Pfizer hubs, appointments remain available at the ACT’s AstraZeneca hub at Calvary Hospital and at around 70 GPs across Canberra for people above the age of 60.

Commonwealth data released last week revealed the ACT’s Pfizer allocation will almost double in July and August to between 17,000 and 19,000 doses per week. This will increase to between 34,000 and 50,000 doses per week around October and December.

AstraZeneca doses will be phased out by the end of the year and will only be available upon request as a supply of the Moderna vaccine comes through, with the ACT receiving 1000 to 2000 doses a week from September.

This will then increase to between 7000 and 10,000 Moderna doses per week from October.

For the latest COVID-19 advice and information, visit ACT Health.

READ ALSO Face masks mandatory in the ACT

The airport Pfizer hub will be open seven days a week from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm.

People can book their appointments online using the ACT Government booking system MyDHR, or by calling the ACT Government vaccination booking line on 02 5124 7700, between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm daily.

People can request a call back and will not lose their place in the queue.

The clinic is located 650 metres from the Canberra Airport terminal, via George Tyson Drive. Onsite parking is available.

A trial shuttle bus service will operate daily, and will initially operate every 15 minutes between 7:50 am and 4:00 pm to connect with Transport Canberra buses at the airport terminal, which is serviced by the Rapid 3 bus.

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MyDHR was useless, logged in, then it went offline. Easier to book over phone, early in the morning. Airport site only just opened up. Good luck finding an appt)pointment! ?

“If we had rampant COVID in the whole of Australia, the risk-benefit analysis would be in favour of AstraZeneca for all age groups, because we would be preventing many, many deaths and it would be far greater than the risk of this syndrome TTS,” she said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-29/garry-recovering-from-blood-clots-linked-to-astrazeneca/100252574

I have tried to sign up to the MyDHR site twice and I have not been successful. Seems like another typical ACT Govt stuff up. If I can’t book in on line I will not bother. I do not intend waiting on the phone for 2 hours to make an appointment, I have better things to do.

You don’t need to wait on the phone. It has a callback service that works.

As for the site it has been made clear that you have to have used an ACT government medical service with your current medicare card to work. In otherwords they need to know who you are. Hardly a stuff up.

And one other thing when entering your medicare number read the instructions very carefully.

The government wants everyone to be vaccinated. Fair enough, but I can’t get Pfizer due to my age. Seems to be plenty of it, but not for my age group (over 60). It’s AZ or nothing and that’s why people like me are not vaccinated

What gives you the idea there is plenty of Pfizer? Lack of supply is the CORE issue. There just isn’t enough as the government backed the wrong horse. Firstly the Uni of QLD vaccine that never made it past tested, with AZ as the backup, then AZ as main if Pfizer as backup.

John Moulis you are right. Why are they giving the AZ to elderly people? AZ, which only has a 64% efficacy compared to 94% with Pfizer or Moderna, may not stop you getting Covid, nor if you get it, will it stop the effects of Covid called Long Covid. But hey, what does it matter if the elderly get the equivalent of dementia or problems with lungs, heart, kidneys, liver etc. They are not going to live all that long anyway, right!! I mean, for the Govt. it’s a win-win as there are too many elderly people anyway – right?

It’s a pity that you are not allowed inside that room to get vaccinated if you are over 60. I miss out by two years. I’m like the kid with his nose pressed up against the window of the tart shop with his parents saying “no Johnny, you can’t go in”.

They can’t keep this farce up for ever. Sooner or later they will have to allow the over 60s to have the Pfizer vaccine otherwise there will be a whole army of people in this country who are unvaccinated, thus making the aim of herd immunity unreachable.

Australia has one of the world’s lowest vaccination rates, 4.4% compared to a world average of 10% with the US and UK over 40%. Our vaccine reluctance is largely due to a low confidence in medical advice and the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was recommended for all, then for just over 50s, then for over 60s and from yesterday under 40s. What will the advice be tomorrow, or are they just trying to get rid of an over supply of unwanted, less efficious, clot causing AZ? The biggest clots are senior government health officials pretending to know what they are doing.

Little unsure of the 4.4% figure.
The Australian Gov website reads >>
Total doses administered as 7,374,666 at 27 June, with a breakdown of who’s doing what and to whom.
https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/australias-covid-19-vaccine-rollout

Vaccination rates are a moving target, changing day by day. Latest info indicates 4.8% fully vaccinated in Australia and >45% in US/UK.
We still lag the world in vaccinations, and also paradoxically in infections.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-vaccinations-tracker.html

4.4%, which is today now 4.8 is fully vaccinated.

Population with single shot is 24.1%.

Total doses is missleading, but I am sure those (pollies) that trot that one out know that as it sounds a lot better.

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