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Vaccine rollout begins

AGED care residents, nurses, doctors, disability support residents and hotel quarantine workers were among the first Australians to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, in what was described as a “landmark day” for the nation.

Portland workers are set to be among the first group of residents to receive the vaccine in the south-west under the Barwon South West’s COVID-19 vaccination program this week.

Barwon South West Public Health unit director, Eugene Athan said they were well prepared for the first vaccination and said the initial rollout would include the Pfizer vaccine.

“Our Public Health Unit (PHU) has been working towards this day for many weeks now and we are confident the vaccination program will run smoothly,” he said.

Prof Athan expected more than 100 healthcare workers from high-risk areas like emergency departments and intensive care units at University Hospital Geelong, Epworth Hospital and St John of God would be immunised yesterday.

“Staff and residents in Barwon Health’s aged care facilities will also receive the vaccine next week,” he said.

Prof Athan said initially around 2000 people would receive vaccinations in the first phase of the Pfizer rollout over the coming weeks at Geelong and via an outreach model in Portland.

“People will require two appointments to obtain a vaccination certificate, with a follow-up booking made when the first immunisation takes place,” he said.

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