First group of Hawkesbury Hospital staff get Covid-19 vaccines

The first group of workers from Hawkesbury District Health Service (HDHS) travelled to the Westmead Hub for their Covid-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, February 23.

HDHS CEO Strephon Billinghurst said it was an historic occasion.

The first group of workers from HDHS about to hop on the bus to Westmead to be administered with their Covid-19 vaccines.

The first group of workers from HDHS about to hop on the bus to Westmead to be administered with their Covid-19 vaccines.

"Today marks a historic day in the fight against COVID-19 with the first of our front line caregivers on their way to receive their COVID-19 vaccination," Mr Billinghurst said the morning the first busload of workers headed-off to Westmead.

"Over the next couple of weeks our caregivers will receive the jab as part of Australia's national vaccine rollout.

"There was a buzz of excitement and sense of privilege amongst the group in being the first from Hawkesbury District Health Service to receive the vaccine".

Liberal Senator for Sydney, Marise Payne, said Australia was no in Phase 1A of the vaccination program, and over the next few weeks, "thousands of aged care and disability care residents and staff, along with our frontline health workers, will join them in being vaccinated."

"Vaccinations are free and voluntary for everyone in Australia and our own medical experts have found these vaccines to be safe and effective," she said.

"It's important Hawkesbury residents access the latest information about COVID-19 vaccine rollout by visiting the Australia.gov.au website."

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the staged approach to the rollout would ensure those who need the most protection get it first.

"Our frontline border and quarantine workers, and people living and working in residential aged and disability care facilities will be the first to receive their vaccines," Minister Hunt said.

"The vaccination program will save and protect lives. Both of our vaccines will prevent serious illness. That is our primary goal."

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has identified the following people as being eligible for vaccination under phase 1a of the rollout:

Aged care and group disability care workers and residents, including:

  • residents of aged care and people with disability living in disability residential accommodation

Quarantine and border workers, including:

  • staff at entry points to the country (such as sea ports and land borders)
  • staff working in quarantine facilities, including those employed under Commonwealth, state or private agreements, and
  • Commonwealth employees (including Defence personnel) who are identified as having the potential to encounter returning travellers as part of their work.

Frontline health workers (including clinical, medical students and administrative staff) most likely to be exposed to COVID-19 including;

  • frontline staff in facilities or services such as hospital emergency departments,COVID-19 and respiratory wards, Intensive Care Units and High-dependency Units
  • laboratory staff handling potentially infectious material
  • ambulance and paramedics service
  • GP respiratory clinics, and
  • COVID-19 testing facilities.
  • Other health workers will follow in Phase 1B.