Shepparton News

Creating a sense of solidarity

- By Rosa Ritchie

What started as an unhelpful habit has turned into a rite of passage at Goulburn Valley Health’s McIntosh Centre vaccinatio­n hub, where two walls are covered with used name tags, representi­ng a fraction of the 120,000 doses administer­ed to date.

Previously, some vaccine recipients stuck their name tags to the floor and walls of the vaccine hub, creating a hard-toremove mess.

Goulburn Valley Health vaccinatio­n program manager Alynda Wayman said her administra­tion team had the bright idea of creating a dedicated space for tags to adorn laminated sheets.

Now nearly everyone who walks out at the end of their appointmen­t adds their name to the wall, creating a sense of solidarity amid so much time spent apart.

‘‘It’s a moment in time,’’ Mrs Wayman said.

Constructi­on worker Scott Bailey had his second dose at the McIntosh Centre on Friday.

‘‘I’ve got to lead by example,’’ Mr Bailey said.

Authorised workers in Victoria, such as constructi­on workers, must be able to provide evidence to their employer that they have received their first COVID-19 vaccinatio­n by October 15 in order to work onsite.

Alternativ­ely, unvaccinat­ed authorised workers must prove they have an appointmen­t to receive their first dose by October 22 or present a valid medical exemption.

Mr Bailey said his workmates were already on board or ‘‘coming round to the idea’’, because they knew it was critical.

Colin and Rhondda Berry also had their second doses on Friday, after receiving their initial vaccinatio­ns at a general practice clinic.

When Mrs Berry learned their GP was booked out for vaccinatio­ns until November, her daughter suggested they head to the McIntosh Centre.

Mrs Berry uses a wheelchair and she had no trouble accessing the McIntosh Centre.

She said parking and moving around the hub was easy.

‘‘It’s really lovely here,’’ she said.

People living with a disability in Victoria could attend any state-run hub without needing to book an appointmen­t as of October 8, as the Victorian Government aims to increase vaccinatio­n rates among the disability community.

Mrs Berry said she had a conversati­on with her GP before getting vaccinated, to check whether her diabetes would change her eligibilit­y.

Once she had the all clear she and Mr Berry were happy to roll up their sleeves.

‘‘It’s important,’’ Mrs Berry said.

 ?? Vaccinated. ?? ‘It’s important’: Colin and Rhondda Berry are thrilled to be fully
Vaccinated. ‘It’s important’: Colin and Rhondda Berry are thrilled to be fully
 ?? ?? Leading by example: Constructi­on worker Scott Bailey has his second vaccine dose at the McIntosh Centre.
Leading by example: Constructi­on worker Scott Bailey has his second vaccine dose at the McIntosh Centre.

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