GPs ready for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

3rd February, 2021

"GPs are key to a successful COVID-19 community vaccination program throughout Australia", according to Our Medical Home Cranbourne GP, Dr Mark Overton.

As the cornerstone of healthcare in the community, GPs and medical centres across the country are preparing themselves for the COVID-19 vaccination program. Mass immunisation is a crucial element in managing COVID-19 and helping the country towards a return to normalcy.

“General practice provides the basis for healthcare in the community,” explained Dr Overton, “So it’s crucial that, during these difficult times, the community can still look to their doctors for continuity of care and clinical guidance.”

“It’s usually their GP that people turn to for advice if they have health concerns – they trust their doctor’s opinion because he or she knows their complete medical history. It’s precisely because of this that GPs will be critical to ensure that patients feel safe receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as the program rolls out to all Australians.”
 
In preparation for the immunisation program, medical centres and GPs are fully equipped to store the vaccine at the required temperatures, have the necessary processes in place and are ready to administer the injections in a safe, clinical environment. 

“Our COVID Safe Plans will help allay any concerns in our communities and we will be very focused on supporting and closely monitoring everyone for any possible after-effects following vaccination.”

The Government has announced that the rollout of the program will likely begin in late February, following the Therapeutics Goods Administration’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. 1.4 million doses of the vaccine will initially be available to frontline health, quarantine and border workers, aged and disability care staff and residents. Once complete, the next phase (Stage 1b) will provide almost 15 million doses to the elderly, those with an underlying medical condition or disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, health care workers and those working in critical and high risk areas such as the police and emergency services. The phased rollout will be expanded to other groups during the year. 

“As well as being familiar with their patient’s medical history, our doctors have close connections to the diverse cultural needs of their communities. Knowing the patient’s personal history and having a connection with local community is necessary for all Australians to feel safe and ensure maximum vaccination rates in this critical phase of the pandemic,” explained Henry Bateman, CEO, Cornerstone Health. 

General practice provides the majority of primary healthcare in the community, with almost 85% of Australians seeing their GP at least once a year.   

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