/ 18 March 2021

COVID vaccines in high demand

THE SQUIZ
If it was the launch of a new pair of fancy sneakers or a delicious speciality snack, it would be declared a sold-out smash-hit. But for Aussies aged over 70yo, Indigenous people aged over 55yo, adults with a specified medical condition and essential workers who took the first opportunity to arrange their COVID shots yesterday, there was frustration and confusion.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Many GP clinics said they were unaware that Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt was releasing the 1,000-plus clinics’ details to the public yesterday, and some said they didn’t know they had been approved for the program. So with phones ringing off the hook with eager COVID-dodgers looking to book their jabs, GPs said they were having “to put people off.” Other clinics said they would be ready to roll from Monday to start vaccinating the ‘1b’ group of 6 million eligible Aussies. For his part, Hunt said that clinics listed on the Health Department’s website had “not only been approved – but they have made orders themselves” to receive the doses to kick off from next week.

AND WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WEEK?
Ok, some expectations management: most GP practices will receive 50-100 doses next week. And some clinics listed on the Department’s site won’t take bookings until the vaccine arrives and they know what they’re working with. “You do need to be patient, this is a slow and steady start,” Australian Medical Association President Omar Korshid said. Patient or not – check here first for a good reccie of the process.

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