17/05/2021 | Stephen Wade MLC

More South Australians will have access to COVID-19 vaccinations with General Practices (GPs) expanding their vaccine offering from today.

It comes as the Marshall Liberal Government confirms opening dates for additional mass vaccination clinics that will begin delivering vaccinations before the end of this month.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing said General Practices (GPs) across the state are flexing up their distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the support of the Commonwealth Government, to include those in Phase 2a of the rollout program.

“Most people will receive their COVID-19 vaccination through their GP and it is great news that our GP clinics will begin offering vaccines to South Australians aged 50 years and over from today,” said Minister Wade.

“The Marshall Government is further supporting this by redistributing 30,000 vaccine doses to GPs to maximise the rollout, following the updated clinical advice from ATAGI and the national vaccination program reset.

“South Australia continues to vaccinate its population at the highest per capita rate of any mainland state and we are set to further scale up our rollout with GPs flexing up their distribution of the vaccine.

“We will also be supporting the rollout with the opening of the Noarlunga mass vaccination clinic on Tuesday 25 May and the Elizabeth mass vaccination clinic on Monday 31 May.

“Following on from our nation-leading Wayville clinic at the Adelaide Showgrounds, the Noarlunga and Elizabeth sites will also be ‘dual stream’ clinics, delivering both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine, to give more eligible South Australians access to the vital vaccination.

“As part of this process, SA Health is pivoting from hospital-based clinics to community-based clinics. The early phases of the national strategy focussed on hospital based staff, vaccinated by hospital based clinics, but as we move further into Phase 2a we will be scaling back or closing our hospital based clinics while scaling up our community clinics. Our mass vaccination hubs offer more vaccination capacity, more convenience for community clients and, in particular, more accessible parking.

“We continue to lead the nation in our steady, stable scale up of the vaccine rollout and are committed to giving all South Australians access to the COVID-19 vaccination as a vital part of our plans to keep South Australia safe and strong in the face of the pandemic.”

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Emily Kirkpatrick said GP clinics across the state will start to receive their share of the additional doses within the next two weeks following a recent expression of interest process.

“GPs have been at the forefront of the rollout for their patients and we are pleased to be able to partner with GPs to provide additional doses and increase access for South Australians to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr Kirkpatrick said.

“In addition to the expanding GP network and availability, SA Health is also pivoting as the rollout progresses which will see some hospital-based clinics transitioning so that clinics in the community can scale up to provide better access and increased capacity.

“South Australians who are eligible for the vaccine now have more access, with the Pfizer vaccine available for those in phases 1a and 1b of the program, and the AstraZeneca vaccine available for anyone aged 50 years and over through the ever expanding GP and state-run vaccination clinic network.”

Bookings are now open for the Noarlunga clinic via the SA Health website and will open in the coming days for the Elizabeth clinic.

The Flinders Medical Centre based clinic will operate up to and including 30 May, while the Lyell McEwin and Modbury Hospital clinics will operate and take bookings up to and including Saturday 22 May.

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 covidvaccine.sa.gov.au.