Bacchus Marsh Medical Centre will carry out the first phased 1b COVID19 vaccines in Moorabool – with 80 doses of the AstraZeneca variety available from Monday March 22.

The vaccines will be delivered at their Darley clinic – but the centre is begging people NOT to hit the phones just yet.

Practice Manager Paul Kochskamper said they would follow government guidelines to determine which local demographic groups would be vaccinated first – and they were also in the process of setting up a dedicated immunization hotline.

“In 2020, BMMC was a beacon of light and hope protecting the community and a major local contributor of COVID19 testing,” he said.

“We feel strongly about continuity of care, offering the vaccines and providing the community with a level of comfort based upon confidence and trust.

“But please hold off until the hotline details are announced. We realise there will be quite a demand.”

He said that according to the Federal Government guidelines, Phase 1B priority population groups would include:

** People 70 years or older,

** Healthcare workers,

** Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55,

** People with underlying medical conditions, including people with a disability,

** Critical and high-risk workers, including Australian Government officials about to be deployed overseas.

Phase 1A was restricted to quarantine and border workers, frontline health care workers, aged care and disability care staff and residents.

At the local clinic COVID19 vaccines will be available to patients over 85 years first, with other priority groups shortly after.

Mr Kochskamper said the first 80 vaccines would be offered over the first week.

“We’re looking to implement a fair strategy in a timely manner in light of the supply restrictions,” he said.

The Darley Medical Centre at 147 Gisborne Rd will have a dedicated vaccination area, and post-injection waiting room. In line with all immunizations, patients must stay back for at least 15 minutes in case of any immediate side-effects.

“My ask is that the community is patient,” Mr Kochskamper said.

“Darley Medical Centre will give out a limited supply of vaccines per week.

“Based upon Federal Government allocation, patients could be waiting at least 2-3 months to get immunised”.

“Please be understanding because we will be doing the very best we can, and we will be able to make more bookings once more vaccines become available.”

At this stage, the AstraZeneca ‘Oxford’ vaccine is the only one available in Australia – and the easiest to administer at small clinics, as it does not need to be kept at extremely cold temperatures of minus-34 deg C or lower.

Until now, the nearest vaccination hubs have been at Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health (Geelong) and Western Health (Tullamarine).

According to Health and Human Services figures, a total of 904 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered on Saturday at hospital vaccination hubs across Victoria.

This brings the total number of vaccine doses administered in Victoria since the program started on Monday 22 February to 31,202.

The department said the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had already arrived at Victoria’s hospital vaccination hubs, with 50,800 doses initially provided by the Commonwealth.

The total number of confirmed cases in Victoria since the pandemic began sits at 20,483.

This time last year (18 March 2020), the state had recorded a total of 121 cases – and 27 new cases on that day alone. Currently Victoria there have been no new cases in Victoria for two-and-a-half weeks.

The COVID vaccine…so many questions, so many opinions. A lot of people, medical and non-medical, are apprehensive,…

Posted by Bacchus Marsh Medical Centre on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Mr Kochskamper said at this stage he did not known of any other medical centres offering the vaccine in the Bacchus Marsh, Maddingley or Darley areas.

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Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

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