North Coast

North Coast residential aged care facilities complete vaccinations

Healthy North Coast is celebrating all the North Coast’s 80 residential aged care facilities (RACFs) completing their COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Residents began receiving the first of their two required jabs in February. The final doses were given last Friday (25 June).

One of the first to receive her jab was 100-year-old Port Macquarie Garden Village resident, Mrs. Grace Symons, who was looking forward to the protection the vaccine offers. She remains fit and healthy.

‘The vaccine is free and available, so why not go and get it. Not everybody in this world is so lucky,’ Mrs Symons said.

Garden Village CEO Craig Wearne said vaccination was providing increasing comfort, safety and security for one of the most vulnerable groups in the community.

‘Garden Village encourages everyone to consider the benefits to the broader community and the reduced risk of serious COVID illness that the vaccination offers,’ Mr Wearne said.

Healthy North Coast helped facilitate the vaccine rollout, working closely with the Australian Government, vaccine providers and RACFs to make the process as smooth as possible.

Healthy North Coast Chief Executive, Julie Sturgess, said older, vulnerable people living in RACFs could now feel safe and their lives could return to some form of normality.

‘The relief being felt by residents, their families and staff upon completion of the process is significant,’ Ms Sturgess said.

‘Implementing the rollout has been an extensive logistical exercise by the Australian Government and its contracted vaccination providers. Getting schedules right, organising vaccination teams, arranging vaccine deliveries and supplies from Sydney to arrive on the right day has been a huge undertaking.

‘Although there were hiccups in the beginning and some along the way, the teams from International SOS and Healthcare Australia delivered safe, responsive, professional programs. Any issues were dealt with promptly by the vaccination providers.’

She thanked RACF workers for their patience and dedication during the vaccine rollout, and local GPs and the Local Health Districts, who supported the process.

On the North Coast, more than 118,000 vaccinations have now been given, meaning around 24% of the region’s population have received one or more doses.