Mercury (Hobart)

State at pointy end of rollout


TASMANIA is the best performed state in Australia for its rollout of coronaviru­s vaccines in state-run clinics, new data reveals.

A report released by the Commonweal­th shows the state had used all the vaccines it had been delivered during the first six weeks of the rollout.

Tasmania’s effort to vaccinate the population against COVID-19 started in February, with clinics initially set up at the state’s three major hospitals in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.

It has expanded to community vaccinatio­n clinics, including at Kingston, Brighton and New Norfolk in the state’s South and at Mowbray in the North.

As of Sunday, 23,727 doses of the vaccine had been delivered in state clinics, meaning Tasmania had used all the supply it received in the first six weeks of the program. Only the ACT had also achieved this measure, while other states and territorie­s had used between 57 and 82 per cent of their available doses.

Meanwhile, 5520 doses had been administer­ed in residentia­l aged care and disability settings, a Commonweal­th responsibi­lity.

A further 16,308 jabs had been given in general practition­ers, Aboriginal community controlled health services, and GP respirator­y clinics. Overall, there had been 45,555 doses of the vaccine delivered in Tasmania at April 11.

Dr Tim Jackson, chair of the Tasmanian faculty of the Royal Australian College of General Practition­ers, said the report showed Tasmania had been more organised than other states so far.

Dr Jackson said GPs had been working closely with the state government to determine their own capacity and any need for referrals to state clinics.

“I think it’s going as well as we can expect it to,’’ he said.

“I know there’s over 100 GP practices that have come online and more waiting to come online, but the major problem at the moment is lack of availabili­ty of the vaccine.”

Dr Jackson said there was generally a positive feeling among those being vaccinated.

“I think most people are grateful and reassured they are able to get it at their GP,’’ he said.

“The main thing is people can be reassured there’s no community transmissi­on (of coronaviru­s) at the moment, so we need to take things slowly and steadily to get it right, rather than rushing.”

Tasmanian Vaccinatio­n Emergency Operations Centre commander Dale Webster said a further 1813 doses had been delivered on April 12, bringing the state total to 47,368.

“While the news last week about AstraZenec­a has had some impact it is well within our manageable levels,” he said.

“Our main target at the moment is to reach the over 70 age group where they are unable to access a GP delivered vaccine..”

“Over the next few weeks we are expecting to receive between 7000 and 9000 doses per week for State Clinics and GPs will have access to around 10,000 doses per week which means we are well on the way to getting Tasmanians vaccinated and protected.”

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