09/03/2021 | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

The Marshall Liberal Government’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine program continues in the northern suburbs, with South Australia’s fifth hub at the Lyell McEwin Hospital now ready to commence operations.

Premier Steven Marshall said from today, frontline staff at the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) will receive their first dose, following the shipment of Pfizer vaccines to the hospital this morning.

“South Australia’s economic and health response to the COVID-19 threat has been world-leading, and we are focused on working with our health experts to deliver a safe and quick roll out of the vaccines,” Premier Marshall said.

“This is the biggest peacetime operation in our state’s history, and a big plank in our plan to keep South Australia safe and strong.

“The roll out is happening right across the State, with our three key hubs in the north, south and centre of Adelaide all operational, and our regional hubs also progressing .”

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the Lyell McEwin Hospital clinic expects to vaccinate about 350 people in its first week and will increase operations in the following weeks.

“At its peak, the clinic’s eight cubicles will have capacity to provide 224 vaccinations per day,” Minister Wade said.

“The new freezer, delivered to the Lyell McEwin Hospital last week, is an additional $15,000 investment in the health and wellbeing of South Australians.

“With the capability to store up to 280,000 vaccine doses, NALHN is in a strong position to vaccinate its 5,500 workforce, before the state-wide vaccination program then expands to more priority groups and eventually, all South Australians for those who wish to be vaccinated.”

“The Marshall Liberal Government has begun the state’s biggest peacetime operation, and in line with the Commonwealth Government’s Phase 1a, SA Health clinics have already provided more than 3500 doses to medi-hotel and airport staff, testing clinic, Emergency Department staff and frontline health workers.

“Thanks to the diligence of staff in the Lyell McEwin Hospital Emergency Department, and particularly Dr Dharminy Thurairatnam in November last year, we were able to quickly detect the first positive case in the Parafield Cluster, which prevented us from a catastrophic spread of the disease in our community.

“It’s only fitting that today Dr Thurairatnam is the first person to receive the vaccination at the Lyell McEwin Hospital clinic.

Minister Wade said the rollout continues to expand into regional areas with 240 doses of the vaccine arriving at Coober Pedy Hospital today.

“Frontline staff of the Coober Pedy Health Service, Umoona Tjutagku Aboriginal Health Service and Umoona Aged Care as well as aged care residents will receive their COVID-19 vaccine over the next four days.  It is an excellent example of cooperation across all sectors of Health and Aged Care in the Eyre and Far North Local Health Network, Minister Wade said.

NALHN Director of Nursing (Operation), Andrew McGill, said NALHN is proud to play this extremely important part in the next stage of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Staff across our network have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, putting their hands up in droves to help their colleague’s interstate or jumping at the opportunity to work at testing clinics in the community,” Mr McGill said.

“In just a few weeks, we have had about 300 clinical and administration staff submit their interest through an EOI process to be involved in the NALHN vaccination program, which will be ongoing throughout the year.

“In the lead up to the Lyell McEwin Hospital vaccination clinic opening today, we have had 40 staff undertake crucial training to ensure they meet all the requirements needed to store and administer the vaccine.”

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout across South Australia will be undertaken in line with the Commonwealth Government’s Vaccine Roadmap.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au