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21 Barclay Street, Heywood, VIC, 3304

Heywood COVID Call out

How many locals want the coronavirus vaccine?

HEYWOOD Rural Health is calling on the community to let it know if they want the coronavirus vaccination in the town after being limited in its ability to offer the jabs as dozens of locals sit on a waiting list.

HRH is looking to organise a public vaccination clinic (or clinics) for anyone aged over 50 who would prefer to have the vaccine in Heywood, rather than travelling further afield.

Chief executive Leigh Parker said the health service had been “constrained” in being able to offer public vaccinations of the AstraZeneca vaccine to those aged over 50 at the community health hub as it was now down to one GP, and there were already about 50 locals on the waiting list.

“That’s why we’re looking to organise a public vaccination clinic,” he said.

“Essentially we want to assess the level of demand.

“Why we want to do that is because the big problem is the challenge of supply, so we need to put a bit of pre-planning in to make sure we have the best use of resources.”

“We’re looking to service that wait list plus anybody else in the community that’s interested.”

The clinic would be run in conjunction with Portland District Health.

“We’re looking forward to partnering with Claire Holt and her team there to service those in the community that have a desire to have the AstraZeneca as close to home (as possible).”

Depending on demand there could be more than one clinic, limited to AstraZeneca.

“Unfortunately under the current arrangements we are unable to offer the Pfizer vaccine,” Mr Parker said.

“That has to be done at Portland or Warrnambool.”

That also affected HRH staff – more than 20 were waiting to get the Pfizer vaccine.

All the residents in the aged care facility who wanted the vaccine had received it and were fully vaccinated by mid-April, as well as all staff over 50.

“There’s just the group under 50 and we’re working with them and Portland and South West Health to gain access to their Pfizer clinics.”

Mr Parker said HRH was also looking for a second GP to bolster its medical workforce.

“We’ve been in continued discussions with Active Health (which provide GP Samsun Nahar who has left the region for Mildura) to assist in the recruitment.” He said.

Anyone interested in getting vaccinated at Heywood and who is aged over 50 (there is no residency requirements so, for example, Portlanders who might work there are also eligible) can register their interest by calling 55270516 or emailing covid@heywoodruralhealth.vic.gov.au

….. IN OTHER NEWS
HEYWOOD Rural Health is also in the middle of a major overhaul of its community health hub, which houses the GP Clinic and allied health services, and as part of that those visiting from Tuesday will note a new temporary entrance and reception area where the current waiting room is. Pictured is community health hub manager, Jacki Barnett at the door, with the former entrance in the background. Car parking areas won’t be changed.