Doctor giving a senior woman a vaccination
Doctor giving a senior woman a vaccination

North Coast aged care homes first to get COVID jab

UPDATE 3.15PM: Residents in aged care facilities across the state will be the first to receive the COPVID-19 vaccination. 

Healthy North Coast chief executive, Julie Sturgess, confirmed today that the roll out will begin across the region, including the Northern Rivers, next week.

"Residents in aged care facilities including some on the Far North Coast, will receive the vaccination," shessaid.

"This is in line with those who are the most at risk receiving the COVID-19 vaccination first." 

Ms Sturgess would not be drawn on which aged care facilities were on the list to roll up their sleeves first.

But she said there was "a good representation of aged care facilities in the Northern Rivers region on the list.

Ms Sturgess said it was expected that the next group to be vaccinated would include frontline health and aged care workers, border and quarantine workers. 


ORIGINAL: Frontline health care and aged care workers on the Northern Rivers will be among the first to roll up their sleeves and get the COVID-19 vaccination next week.

Healthy North Coast chief executive, Julie Sturgess, confirmed today that the roll out will begin across the region, which covers from the Queensland border to south of Port Macquarie and includes the Northern Rivers, next week.

"The first COVID-19 vaccinations for the 1A group will be administered next week," she said.

"Those receiving the first phase of the vaccine will be people with the highest rate of suffering an adverse reaction from COVID, including frontline health and aged care and quarantine border workers.

"There are around 500,000 people in this area and as there are two shots needed this means over 1 million doses will be needed.

"Healthcare Australia who have a great deal of experience in the vaccination of aged care residents will undertake this."

Healthy North Coast is the organisation that delivers the Australian Government's Primary Health Network program.

Ms Sturgess said the next group to be vaccinated will comprises those in in the 1B group and include; Elderly adults aged over 70, other health care workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability, critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing workers.

Ms Sturgess said a recent call for expressions of interest from medical practices in in the region to be involved in administering vaccinations has been very positive.

"We have had 113 medical practices from across our catchment respond to our expression of interest and request for their model of how they would cope," she said.

"We have the capacity in our region to handle the vaccination levels required, although this is of course reliant on the availability of the vaccine, but we are not concerned about this."

Ms Sturgess said the only delay in vaccinations would be if there was an outbreak of COVID-19, then naturally vaccinations would be concentrated in that area.

She said the NCH is working closely with the Local Health Districts.

"While the Commonwealth Government is taking the lead in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, we work extremely closely with the LHDs and their public health units," she said.

"We give them lots of local advice and keep clinicians updated and the educated around the latest news around vaccinations."