Griffith general practices say they are prepared to start administering the COVID-19 vaccine to local residents.
Next week, Kookora Surgery and the Griffith Vaccination Hub (operating out of Your Health Griffith) will be delivering the Astra Zeneca vaccine to residents eligible to be vaccinated in "phase 1b" of the national rollout.
Those eligible include healthcare workers currently employed and not included in "phase 1a"; critical and high risk workers currently employed; people aged 70 years and older; adults with an underlying medical condition, including disability; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 55 years.
The Griffith Vaccination Hub hopes to begin the rollout on Monday and Kookora Surgery is aiming to start on Thursday.
Your Health Griffith practice manager Rosie Harriman says all staff at the centre are fully trained and ready to start the rollout once supplies arrive.
We're keen, we're ready, we just need bums on seatsRosie Harriman, Griffith Vaccination Hub
"We're keen, we're ready, we just need bums on seats," Mrs Harriman said.
"All of our staff have gone through the necessary training. From clinical staff to admin staff everyone on the floor is prepared."
Eligible residents are not yet able to make bookings to receive the vaccine at the Griffith Vaccination Hub but will likely be able to from Monday.
According to Mrs Harriman, this hasn't stopped a significant number of people calling to see if they can secure a spot.
However Mrs Harriman suggested receiving the vaccine at your usual GP could help smooth the operation.
"Anyone can go anywhere but it would be advisable to go to your regular GP because they will have all your medical history," she said.
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The Griffith Vaccination Hub is aiming for the vaccination process to take 30 minutes per patient and is urging residents to fill out their registration in advance.
"We're hoping people will be in and out within half an hour, and half of that is the 15 minutes of mandatory observation after you have the vaccine," Mrs Harriman said.
"To save people time, particular those who might not be used to using computers, grab someone younger to help you use it and get your registration done before you come in."
Despite the daunting task ahead, Your Health Griffith doctor Marion Reeves said she was excited to see the vaccine finally arrive in Griffith and urged all eligible residents to get vaccinated when they can.
"Everybody has made a lot of sacrifices to protect the vulnerable over the past year and getting the vaccine is just another thing you can do to protect these people," Dr Reeves said.
"We have to think about the people who are at risk."
According to the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, Riverina residents will be informed of more general practices commencing vaccinations over the coming weeks.
To check your eligibility for a vaccine visit https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility. If you are eligible for the vaccine you will be redirected to book.
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