Ministerial News: General Practices join the Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccine rollout
More than 1,000 general practices will join the COVID-19 vaccination program from next week further strengthening the Commonwealths capacity, and ensuring an efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines across the country.
Services will come online from 22 March and progressively increase in number to more than 4,000 by the end of April – as part of Phase 1B of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine program.
This staged scale up will align with the supply of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine, and as more vaccine becomes available more services will come online.
Over 100 Aboriginal Health Services and 130 Commonwealth operated GP-led Respiratory Clinics, who have been instrumental partners in the COVID-19 response to date will also be progressively added as additional vaccine providers.
This rollout for Phase 1B complements the significant vaccination program underway to protect our most vulnerable citizens in Phase 1A, with approximately 200,000 vaccinated by the end of Tuesday.
Australians eligible for Phase 1B will be able to find a vaccination provider through the new national vaccination information and location service, at the Department of Health website.
This will enable people to locate their nearest general practice providing General Practice Respiratory Clinic vaccinations and link through to their online booking system or phone number to make the appointment.
General practices will play a major role in ensuring all Australians who seek to be vaccinated have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Phase 1B includes vulnerable groups, such as older people and people with certain underlying medical conditions. No-one is better placed to support these people than our general practices.
Appointments on the service finder will increase as general practices establish their systems and vaccine supply. More appointments will become available as more clinics come on-board.
People will still be able to book their vaccine appointments directly at a participating general practice – as they do now, for instance, to get a seasonal flu vaccine.
We are committed to making sure that every Australian that wants a vaccine will be able to be vaccinated.
As the rollout moves into Phase two, additional general practices and selected community pharmacists will also participate in the program. No-one will miss out, whether they live in a city or country town or a very remote area.
Vaccines are the game changer in our fight against the COVID-19 virus and I urge everyone in Australia to come forward and get vaccinated when they are able to. It will protect themselves, their family, and their community.
There will be six million Australians in Phase 1B, and not all will be able to be vaccinated immediately. We recognise that every Australian will have the opportunity to be vaccinated over the coming months and we thank you for your patience.
Where do I go and how do I book in?
Go to Department of Health website. Using the Eligibility Checker, you can find out which phase of the rollout you are in. If you are eligible, you will be able to view vaccination clinics and book an appointment online or via phone. If you are not yet eligible, you will be able to register your interest so that you can be notified when you are able to book.
If you prefer not to use the online option, you can call the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 1800 020 080.
Will I be able to choose where I can book?
You will be able to view and select clinic locations based on the postcode you enter.
What happens if there are no clinics or appointments in my area?
A list of Commonwealth vaccination clinics, participating General Practices, and state and territory vaccination clinics will be made available as they come online.
Do I have to use the Eligibility Checker in order to book?
The checker is a helpful tool to help you find out if you are currently eligible to book.
The checker will guide you through to a simple way to find and book vaccine appointments, or help you register to be notified if you are part of a later phase. If you prefer to book appointments directly at a participating general practice or Commonwealth state vaccination clinic, you can contact them directly to do so.