Vaccine relief scaled up for regions

A scale up of COVID-19 administered jabs hit last month with South Australia’s young people now added to the roll out list, ahead of metropolitan areas.

In a nation-first, those aged 16 years and above and living in regional SA can receive the Pfizer vaccine through a dedicated country SA clinic.

Announced on Monday, May 24, SA authorities said the move is designed to maintain the momentum of the vaccination program where access in rural areas is the biggest challenge.

Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade said bookings at designated regional clinics will be offered through a booking system available through the SA Health website.

“Those eligible can identify clinics in their region online and schedule an appointment. We expect there to be very high levels of interest. We ask people to be patient,” he said.

The minister said more appointments will be added as more vaccines become available, while more clinics will be opened in regional areas.

“The expansion of our regional vaccine clinics is exciting and it affirms the South Australian response to the pandemic – that we are all in this together.

“The health of regional South Australians is at the forefront of our minds as we continue to deliver a safe and steady scale up of the vaccine rollout across the state.”

SA authorities confirmed that some regional clinics may only offer Pfizer, which is available to people aged under 50, while others may only offer AstraZeneca which is suitable for people aged 50 years and over.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said the latest phase is a great opportunity for younger South Australians living in regional SA to get vaccinated.

“Extending the rollout to regional South Australians will help us to further protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities,” she said.

Ms Spurrier explained that COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary, yet she highly recommended it, saying  vaccination is highly effective at preventing serious illness and death.

“We know that COVID-19 remains a threat to all of us, with increasing rates in many countries, even in some who showed initial good control, so we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.”

COVID-19 vaccination bookings for clinics across the state are available via www.sahealth.sa.gov.au

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations at www.covidvaccine.sa.gov.au

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