COVID-19 vaccine enters next phase with new clinic locations announced in Albany

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Walpole’s Ernest Love gets his shot from Pioneer Health manager Rianan Simpson and Dr James Turner.
Camera IconWalpole’s Ernest Love gets his shot from Pioneer Health manager Rianan Simpson and Dr James Turner. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Australia’s national COVID-19 vaccination rollout entered Phase 1B yesterday, with three more vaccine clinics established in Albany to broaden the region’s vaccine response.

Two general practices, The Surgery and Southern Regional Medical Group, and one GP-led respiratory clinic, the Albany Respiratory Clinic at Pioneer Health, will bring the total of Albany clinics to four, alongside one WA Country Health Service clinic already operating at Albany Health Campus.

They are among 1000 locations announced across Australia in Phase 1B, with clinic numbers expected to increase to 4000 in the next month. Phase 1B includes the elderly, healthcare workers, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people over 55, adults with an underlying medical condition, and critical and high-risk workers such as police and emergency services.

The Albany Respiratory Clinic, which has been crucial in COVID-19 testing in Albany as WA’s first drive-through clinic, will now administer the AstraZeneca vaccine as a walk-through clinic.

The clinic will be open for vaccinations each afternoon.

Dr James Turner said he encouraged people in the Phase 1B target group to get in and get their vaccination early.

“It is best to get onto it because it takes a while to develop immunity, and if we were to suddenly have an outbreak in Albany, there might be a rush of people getting the vaccine and we can’t do them all at once,” he said.

“We have got a supply of 500 a week, but if we use them all up there may be increased amounts available. I would encourage people to get stuck into it.”

This time last year, the clinic was being set up for COVID-19 testing at the height of the pandemic in WA.

“This is the next phase of the pandemic response,” Dr Turner said. “A huge amount of resources have been poured into the vaccine, and it’s amazing that we have a vaccine and it has been well tested.”

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