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    Nurse imuniser Sharon Hedt gives Murtoa's Carolyn West her COVID-19 vaccination at Wimmera Vaccination Clinic in Dimboola Road, Horsham.

‘We are in a privileged position’ on COVID-19 vaccines


Wimmera Vaccination Clinic leaders are expecting an influx of bookings now Australians 50 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lister House Clinic staff have been running the vaccination clinic out of Up Tempo Café in Dimboola Road, Horsham since March.

Lister House chief executive Amanda Wilson said the clinic had vaccinated more than 2000 people in the past two and a half weeks.

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“It’s going really well,” she said.

“We’ve had a great uptake, which is good, although there was a bit of a slow down when the government commented about the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

“We’re hoping to get our numbers back up – our doors are open, ready to go.”

The clinic started its 2a roll-out phase on Monday.

The phase includes adults 50 years and older, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged 18 to 49, and other critical and high-risk workers. 

“People with chronic health conditions can get vaccinated as well, provided they meet eligibility requirements,” Mrs Wilson said.

“The government has appointed us as a hub for the whole region and we are getting between 400 and 600 vaccines a week; GPs are getting about 50 a week.

“So come and get them.”

The vaccination clinic is open from 9.30am to 1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 4pm to 6pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Hours are subject to change depending on demand.

“If we start to see the appointments fill up, we open up more,” Mrs Wilson said.

“We are adjusting our hours to suit our demographic. 

“We decided to do Friday nights because some people were worried about getting sick and having to take time of work. They’d rather have any symptoms over their weekend. 

“Statistics say 50 percent of people get some kind of symptom. Pain at the injection site and headaches are included as symptoms.”

Mrs Wilson said concern over the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting – and the government recommending the Pfizer vaccine for adults younger than 50 – had resulted in people asking more questions. 

“People under 50 with health issues, such as diabetes, have to weigh up the risk ratio with their health professional – do they get it now or do they wait?” she said.

“We will get the Pfizer vaccine at some stage, because we are the Federal Government-appointed vaccination hub. But the issue is getting it into the country.

“While a lot of people have been asking questions, most of them are saying they don’t care about the symptoms, they just want it done and they hope everyone else does the same.”

Mrs Wilson said anyone with questions or concerns about the vaccine could make an appointment.

“They don’t have to have the vaccination, they can just ask questions – we have information brochures – and make up their mind as to whether they want it or not,” she said.

“They can go away and think about it.” 

Mrs Wilson encouraged Wimmera-Mallee residents to remember how lucky they were to live in Australia, particularly in light of what was happening in India.

India is reporting more than 300,000 COVID-19 infections a day, with the country’s total cases about 20-million.

“We are in a privileged position – we have vaccines and we have people who can give them,” Mrs Wilson said.

“It’s not a matter of if COVID gets here, it’s when, because we can’t shut down forever. 

“Please, keep turning up and keep getting vaccinated.”

People can book an appointment online at
vaccination-clinic/doctors or by calling Lister House Clinic on 5382 0011.

“If people are having trouble making an appointment they can just show up and we will slot them into an available time,” Mrs Wilson said.

East Grampians 

East Grampians Health Service has also started its phase 2a roll-out. 

Eligible people can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at the clinic at Pyrenees House in Girdlestone Street, next to Ararat hospital.

People can call 5352 9363 between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, to make an appointment.

The entire May 5, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!