Benalla Ensign

Indi MP rapt with vax rates

- By Simon Ruppert

Benalla is still the most vaccinated Local Government Area, per capita, in the Indi electorate, thanks to the hard work of local clinics and pharmacies.

On Wednesday, September 29, Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines visited Church St Surgery where she congratula­ted staff on their role in that achievemen­t.

Practice manager Janine Rofe said Church St Surgery alone had administer­ed more than 13,000 vaccinatio­ns since March.

Ms Rofe said while the Rose City had a low rate of vaccine hesitancy it was also accessibil­ity to the vaccine that had helped it achieve so many jabs.

“Some of those will be people from the Mansfield area, but the majority of that 13,000 are Benalla people,” Ms Rofe said.

“A lot of them will be the second dose — I think Benalla is about 60 per cent double dosed now.”

Dr Haines congratula­ted Ms Rofe and the Church St Surgery team.

“They have stepped up, over and above, here in Benalla,” Dr Haines said.

“Working Saturday after Saturday to make sure that the people of the Rose City have the opportunit­y to get vaccinated and stay safe.

“That is the greatest gift that you could give to a town.

“Having the highest rate of vaccinatio­n of any town, any LGA, in Indi is extraordin­ary.

“What Janine’s told me today is she has recruited extra people to come and help.

“Even her own daughter has been one of the team to make sure that Benalla has every opportunit­y to get vaccinated. And Saturdays clearly work.

“Vaccinatin­g 500 people in a day is just an extraordin­ary outcome.

“She said they finish at 6pm, sometimes even 9pm.

“So they’ll stay and vaccinate as long as people will come.

“Janine also indicated that they’re vaccinatin­g school students now and I was so pleased to hear that.

“I am concerned, however, that she said they could do much more, and faster, with our school students if they had more supply of Pfizer, so that is still a limiting factor.”

Ms Rofe said the clinic was sending a team of doctors and nurses to FCJ College on October 6.

“And with (Benalla P-12) College, we are hoping to be able to get there, too,” she said.

“However, if we can’t get more vaccines in to cover that, they may have to get (Jabba) the bus back.

“But we’ll be at FCJ next Wednesday offering vaccinatio­ns in their new multi-purpose hall.”

Dr Haines said the upshot of being an LGA with a high rate of vaccinatio­n was that Benalla might be able to open fully before other LGAs that have lower rates.

“When we’re thinking about vaccinatio­n we have to think about what that means,” she said.

“Well firstly it means that if you are unlucky enough to catch COVID-19 you’re not going to become really ill, which is super important.

“Number two is it means that once we’ve got high rates of vaccinatio­n we can welcome visitors back into our towns, our businesses can open and we can get our economy really kick-started again.

“That is very important. “What we’re seeing from the Premier (of Victoria) at the moment, is he’s looking to local LGAs that have high rates of vaccinatio­n to trial various hospitalit­y limits.

“I’d love to see Benalla be one of those places, and I think there’s every chance it could be with this rate of vaccinatio­n.”

Ms Rofe confirmed Church St Surgery was still running its Saturday vaccinatio­n clinics.

“If you want to book a jab you can do that by phoning 5762 1022 or on the online portal,” she said. ● To book a vaccine online at Church St Surgery visit churchstre­etsurgery.com.au

 ?? ?? Impressed: Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines visited Benalla’s Church Surgery, where she spoke with practice manager Janine Rofe about its COVID-19 vaccinatio­n clinics.
Impressed: Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines visited Benalla’s Church Surgery, where she spoke with practice manager Janine Rofe about its COVID-19 vaccinatio­n clinics.
 ?? ?? Superb effort: Benalla’s Church St Surgery (left) has administer­ed more than 13,000
COVID-19 vaccinatio­ns since March.
Superb effort: Benalla’s Church St Surgery (left) has administer­ed more than 13,000 COVID-19 vaccinatio­ns since March.

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