Friday, June 21, 2024

Canberra opens Pfizer mass vaccination centre

Canberrans between the ages of 40-49 will now be able to book in for a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at the ACT COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Garran.

Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the increased eligibility will be supported by an improved online booking system for ACT vaccination clinics and extended opening hours for the telephone booking line.

“Canberrans have embraced the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, with more than 100,000 doses administered across our ACT Government vaccination clinics, primary healthcare providers and through the Commonwealth Aged Care program,” the Minister said.

“The vaccine is one way that Canberrans can protect themselves, their families and our community from the worst health impacts of COVID-19. We are asking Canberrans to roll up their sleeves and take up the opportunity to get a vaccination as soon as possible.

“With about 60,000 more ACT residents becoming eligible today, everyone will not be able to get their first dose in week one. Like all jurisdictions, the ACT faces supply constraints on the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

“However, with many of the high risk Canberrans now vaccinated, the ACT Government is now in a position to support more Canberrans to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.”

She said the ACT Health Directorate had been preparing the COVID-19 vaccination booking system for this next stage of the vaccine rollout in the ACT.

“This work includes refining how Medicare card details are used in the system. The threshold for a patient match has been lowered so that numbers don’t have to be a 100 per cent match for people to create a MyDHR account.”

“The ACT Health team is also working with Services Australia to prospectively update Medicare for all patients who are currently in the ACT patient record system. This will mean more people can sign up for MyDHR online without needing to call the team first.”

The ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination phone booking line is available for those who are unable to register for MyDHR or who prefer to speak with someone to make a booking.

The Health Minister said telephone bookings had accounted for around 57% of all vaccination appointments to date.

“From Thursday 3 June, we are expanding the hours of operation for the phone booking line to be available from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week. We have also increased staffing and updated the call back system to reduce wait times.”

This phone line is available for people to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, and call-takers are not able to provide individual health advice.

“We encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine and their own health circumstances to contact their GP or healthcare provider before calling to make an appointment.”

The ACT Government Vaccination Clinics are live on the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker. The eligibility checker links people directly to the MyDHR Digital Health Record platform for online bookings.

Eligible Canberrans aged 50 and over can also contact participating general practices and GP-led respiratory clinics to book their appointment. More than 70 ACT general practices and respiratory assessment clinics are supporting the rollout.

“We will continue to work with the Commonwealth Government and healthcare providers to deliver a safe, effective and accessible vaccine program in the ACT,” the Minister said.

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