Mass vaccination hubs could be the government’s next plan to get the vaccine rollout back on track, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.
Mass vaccination hubs could be the government's next plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine rollout back on track, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.
Mr Morrison flagged the hubs to potentially open in the latter half of the year, however, doctors have already said mass vaccination sites aren't needed for people above the age of 50.
Supply also remains an issue, with ongoing problems around AstraZeneca doses.
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Former Australian Medical Association head Dr Tony Bartone told Today he was surprised the mass hubs were being spoken about as part of an early-stage response.
"We were looking at rolling out the mass vaccination perhaps later on in the plan," he said.
"GP clinics were always going to be the focus of the 1B rollout and then pharmacists were going to join on board."
Dr Bartone said the mass hubs would rely on "robust supply and availability", necessitating a build-up of AstraZeneca vaccines and the incoming 20 million Pfizer doses.
"But 1B is GP-led, and that's where patients want to go," he said.
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"(Mass vaccination hubs) are an important part as we get into phase 2B and the younger population which are much more mobile and don't have that immediate access to general practice in a routine.
"Phase 1B patients are seeing their doctors regularly and so it makes sense for them to have their vaccines through them to have their vaccines through the GP clinics."
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said she would hope 60,000 people a week would be vaccinated across all the planned NSW hubs.
Dr Bartone said an average mass hub would provide between 1000-1500 vaccinations a day.
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"So you can see these are not large numbers in comparison to the 400,000 or 500,000 that would be going through general practice," he said.
Infectious disease expert Dr Paul Griffin also said the hubs would be a part of the answer, and that locally manufactured AstraZeneca would be important to the rollout.
And he backed the Prime Minister's hope to have most Australians vaccinated by the end of the year.
"I think there's no question it's going to be challenging but I think we need to have aspirational goals here, we need to work as hard as we can to get the vaccines out there," Dr Griffin said.
"We have seen the restrictions lift here but without a vaccine rollout we will need the restriction and the lockouts and border controls and other mitigation strategies to stay on top."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-mass-vaccination-hubs-flagged-scott-morrison/9a94576e-850b-44fa-b776-06c6dd02692f