GPs’ key role in COVID-19 vaccination rollout

General practices will play a key role in the Australian Government’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, in what will be one of the greatest logistical exercises, public health or otherwise, in Australian history.

Providing access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for everyone in Australia is a key priority for our Government.

General practices will help deliver the vaccine initially to priority groups, starting with people over 70, adults with underlying medical conditions and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in phase 1b. Three more phases will follow until the whole country has been offered the vaccine.

The Government will also work closely with Primary Health Networks to determine general practice distribution points for the vaccine. Over time, there will be more than 1,000 distribution points across Australia.

Applications open 9am tomorrow, at www.health.gov.au.

Australian GPs have considerable experience administering vaccines, with the Australian Government’s highly successful childhood immunisation program and the influenza vaccines both exceeding expectations with record engagement. General practices are key players in Australia having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

General practices are the core of our health system and those involved in supporting the vaccine rollout will include GPs and primary health care nurses, as well as their support staff, including practice managers, receptionists, cleaners, and IT support.

The vaccine rollout in Commonwealth-funded GP-led Respiratory Clinics and Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services will be administered through separate processes. They are not required to complete an expression of interest to take part in the rollout.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is a new frontier. It will bring new challenges, and I am very confident that our health care workforce is well placed for this immense task.

An expression of interest for pharmacies will be released next week.

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