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Finally, Portland aged care residents receive first vaccination

MANY Bupa Portland residents who opted to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations had them administered for the first time on Friday.

The Commonwealth-managed vaccine rollout had been delivered to most aged care homes, with Bupa Portland among the last batch.

A Bupa spokesperson couldn’t confirm how many people opted to receive the vaccination and then went on to actually receive it, however “across all our homes we’ve seen take up rates well above 80%,” she noted.

Resident Harold Down said he didn’t feel the fine needle as it went into his arm.

“I believe everyone should have it,” he added.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Julie Cohen added after receiving hers.

Staff member Angela Berry was also a vaccine recipient.

Public aged care residents at other local facilities such as Harbourside Lodge were vaccinated earlier this year.

Meanwhile Portland Family Practice is hoping to become one of 900 new General Practice clinics to become authorised to deliver the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination after the Federal Government announced the expression of interest process last week.

Practice spokesperson Beatrice Singh said their two-GP clinic had applied to join the program; it would assist other services delivering the vaccine if their patients weren’t a part of the queue, she said.

New practices joining the program would qualify for 150 doses a week and begin vaccinations mid-June.

Testing time

Portland District Health’s Fever Clinic has extended its opening hours for COVID-19 testing, and will be open 10am-4pm daily until Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturday.

They tested 74 people on Friday and 24 people on Saturday, with the phones continuing be busy yesterday morning.

Fever Clinic manager Jenny Craig encouraged people to register online at testtracker.covid19.dhhs.vic.gov.au/citizen-prefill before arriving for their test to reduce wait times.

They can also phone 5521 0387 to make their booking.

Meanwhile COVID-19 vaccinations are continuing at PDH and medical clinics across the region, with no Pfizer vaccines available in Portland or Heywood at the moment.

People can call the Victorian Government Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 to find out where to access the Pfizer vaccine; some appointments were available in Warrnambool’s South West Healthcare vaccine clinic last week.

To book ahead for a vaccine at Portland District Health go to bit.ly/pdhvax2021 or email vaccination.pdh@swarh.vic.gov.au; the vaccination booking phone service, 5521 0352, was being overwhelmed with calls with no immediate appointments available for vaccinations late last week.

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