Those who would have been on the frontline against the coronavirus pandemic in Griffith will soon be close to fully protected from the virus with Griffith Base Hospital (GBH) now administering the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
As of today, the hospital is administering the vaccine to frontline workers eligible under phase 1a and phase 1b of the national vaccine rollout.
This includes hospital workers, doctors, paramedics, police and firefighters.
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The rollout comes just one day after general practices began administering the vaccine to people in priority 1b in Griffith.
Up to 100 frontline workers will be vaccinated each day at the hospital, which will also act as a hub delivering the vaccine to other Riverina locations.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District sites in Leeton, Hay, Hillston and Lake Cargelligo will receive the vaccine from GBH outreach teams next month.
Director of medical services at the hospital Dr David Tulloch said having the vaccine at the hospital has brought a sense of progress.
"We've been planning, re-planning and changing for the last year and it's nice to have a finite event rather than just wondering how long this will all drag on for," Dr Tulloch said.
"I'm pleased that we're up and running and it all seems to be going smoothly."
Dr Tulloch said despite staff receiving their first doses of the vaccine, covid protocols at the hospital were unlikely to be relaxed any time soon.
"For the foreseeable future we will still assume anyone coming through the door is a COVID risk," he said.
"We will keep our personal protective equipment going and to be honest it will probably become the new normal."
"But if we get 90 per cent coverage in Griffith people will be able to think in a more relaxed way. But of course they still can't afford to get complacent."
Among those receiving the vaccine at the hospital was Griffith paramedic Matthew Simpson, who said the vaccine coming to the MIA will offer some peace of mind.
"It's going to assist both on and off duty. It's a big moment."
"After getting the second dose and once everyone is vaccinated hopefully we'll be able to go back to less restrictions and that will help us do our checks and provide care to Griffith residents."
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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