Overview: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Update #2
The first week of phase 1a of the Pfizer vaccine has gone very well with 1159 people vaccinated through the Royal Hobart Hospital Hub with no reported adverse events from all who received the vaccine.
The three vaccination sessions per day for three days per week will likely begin to increase with the arrival of an additional 195 vaccines taking the total vaccines available this week to 1160. It was noted that on some wards and units bookings included a number of members from the same area and this has been addressed to reduce impact on staffing areas in any particular area. Additional administration support has been added to the hubs along with a Nurse Unit Manager to provide oversight to the vaccination teams.
An extra 17 staff have been added to the vaccination team to assist with making bookings in advance for weeks 3-4 of the 1a phase. Many members have contacted the ANMF who believe that they are in the 1a phase stating that they have not received their vaccine. It is important to note that currently the 1a phase is in week two and there will another two weeks focussed on vaccinating everyone in the 1a phase groups.
The state vaccination teams are likely to complete the 1a vaccinations ahead of schedule and will if required assist the Commonwealth in vaccinating aged care staff if they have not completed their 1a vaccinations.
The vaccination hubs are on track to be opened at the North West Regional Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital by 15 March 2021. It is likely that a vaccination clinic will also be opened at the Mersey Community Hospital on 9 March 2021 using the Astra Zeneca vaccines (which do not require the -70 degree cold storage requirements).
Following completion of phase 1a, 1b will commence with the addition of GP clinics also administering Astra Zeneca vaccines. Members will have an option of attending either a GP clinic or a vaccination hub. A national booking system is anticipated to assist in making bookings for phase 1b and beyond.
The ANMF also have secured a commitment for public sector members that attendance at the vaccination hubs should be in paid work time, however, if this attendance falls on a day off and it is agreed between you and your manager that this is the best option, then you will also be paid to attend and any reasonable travel costs.
In addition, the ANMF has also advocated on behalf of members in the aged care and disability space regarding the slow rollout of 1a vaccinations and the poor communication regarding the Commonwealth rollout. Health Minister, Sarah Courtney, has taken ANMF feedback and forwarded this to the Commonwealth. The ANMF anticipate an improved communication strategy and will provide members in these sectors with more information as it is received.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our Member Support Team.
Updates correct as at 4 March 2021.
Authorised by Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary