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Vaccine shortage

DESPITE a push from the State and Federal Governments for people to get vaccinated, locals seeking a COVID vaccination at Hamilton Base Hospital were unable to book this week due to supply shortages.

Western District Health Service (WDHS) chief executive, Rohan Fitzgerald said the health service was offered just 50 vaccines for the week, which was disheartening given the local momentum around the vaccine program.

“We had over 500 people get their shot last week and hundreds more have registered for the vaccine on the WDHS website,” he said.

“The community are concerned about this latest outbreak, and we’ve seen a massive increase in people contacting us to get their shot.

“We’ve also seen bigger numbers lining up at our drive-through testing clinic, some having visited the many exposure sites listed across the state.”

Mr Fitzgerald said vaccine supply issues were proving a constant challenge for local healthcare providers.

“Our vaccination team is ready to go, but we haven’t been able to shore-up enough doses to meet the demand,” he said.

“We’re seeing tens of thousands getting the jab in mass vaccination hubs in the city, but we have little to no guarantee about supply in country areas.

“It’s becoming increasingly frustrating hearing reports that there is not a supply issue, when in fact there is.”

This week the only option to secure a vaccine is to book through your local GP clinic or register your interest on the WDHS website wdhs.net for next week’s clinics.

You can also call the DHHS Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 to book into one of the regional immunisation hubs in Warrnambool, Ballarat and Geelong.

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