LISTER HOUSE Medical Clinic has announced more information regarding the 1b phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the Wimmera.
The clinic, which provides several GP services and respiratory swabbing in Horsham, will use Up Tempo Cafe and Function Centre as a vaccine centre to administer the rollout.
The first doses of the 1b vaccine are expected to arrive in Horsham starting March 22, with booking details to be confirmed later.
Lister House Medical Clinic Chief Executive Officer Amanda Wilson said the clinic decided to use Up Tempo Cafe's facilities to maintain social distancing.
"For us to further look after our community as best as possible we have decided to take the COVID-19 vaccinations out of our clinic for this year," Ms Wilson said.
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"Because of social distancing and how long people need to wait after, it becomes too difficult to have everybody wait in the same space."
The 1b phase of the vaccine rollout will target priority groups such as people over the age of 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and people with significant underlying health issues like cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and diabetes.
Frontline workers such as paramedics, firefighters, and SES will also be included.
Ms Wilson said anybody looking to get vaccinated as part of the phase 1b rollout needs to book in before showing up to get the jab.
"People will have to book in because they are multi-dose vials and we need to make sure we have the right people booked in at the right time," Ms Wilson said.
"Plus we need to do pre-screening questions, they are not to have had any other vaccines in the 14 days prior to having it."
"We also need to know if they have had an allergic reaction to anything and a few other checklists. They need to book in because it has to be streamlined and in groups so it meets all the criteria of the multi-dose vials."
The vaccinations will be open to the broader community, not just Lister House patients, with proof of preexisting conditions required.
Lister House will also be administering the regular flu shot from their GP assessment clinic, with private vaccinations available next week. Public flu shots will be available in April.
Last year, clinics saw a 'stampede' of people coming to get the flu vaccine at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms Wilson said the clinic wants to make sure the public understands how the flu vaccine works and streamline the process.
"With the flu vaccines, they are at their peak working ability after about four months," Ms Wilson said.
"Our flu season is really from July to September, so if people try and get them too early they will get them vaccinated but not get as strong coverage at the time when they need it the most."
"Anywhere from April, May, June is perfectly fine to get a flu vaccine to cover you. It only takes two weeks to work."
Lister House Medical Clinic encourages people to call beforehand to arrange both their COVID-19 vaccinations and flu shots.
"People need to work on their plan, so the COVID vaccine, flu vaccine, we can do all of the above. They might as well start sorting out the pace of it," Ms Wilson said.
"After the first vaccine dose, we are expecting the second one is going to be 12 weeks later."
The vaccine centre at Up Tempo Cafe and Function Centre will have a doctor and two nurses on-site at all times. All staff attending will have updated CPR and anaphylactic training.
"We will be on our game, at our best, if anything does happen but don't expect it to," Ms Wilson said.
"If you are having hesitations about being vaccinated, think about the people you are doing it for. You are not actually doing it for yourself; you are doing it for every other older person you know.
"It is aunties, uncles, next-door neighbours, the person across the street, you are getting vaccinated for them. We are doing it for the bigger picture, we aren't doing it for ourselves, we are doing it for everyone else."
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