The Loddon Mallee region has reached a significant milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination roll out, with all public aged care residents receiving their first dose of vaccine.
Bendigo Health, in collaboration with health services in the region, has vaccinated more than 660 public aged care residents across 29 facilities in the region since the vaccination program began on March 1.
State Government health services are responsible for vaccinating public aged care facilities, while the Commonwealth vaccinates residents and staff in private and non-profit facilities.
Bendigo Health Board Chair, Bob Cameron said it was important the most vulnerable were vaccinated first.
“We know the vaccine prevents people getting seriously ill and hospitalised with COVID-19,” he said.
“It gives great comfort to the residents, their families and the staff who care for them to know they are protected against this virus.”
Public aged care residents are part a group of 4000 people identified in phase 1a of the vaccine roll out in the Loddon Mallee region.
So far more than half of these have been vaccinated, the majority of those are frontline healthcare workers, residential care workers and paramedics.
Mr Cameron called for patience and understanding as the Commonwealth’s vaccination program rolled out across the region.
“At the moment were are prioritising high-risk workers and public sector aged care facilities. The general population can expect to receive their first jab later in the year,” he said.
Minister for Health Martin Foley said: “This is a significant milestone for these families and we thank every single health care worker who has been working hard to deliver these vaccinations and keep our community safe.”
Minister for Aged Care Luke Donnellan said it was fantastic to see all public aged care residents in the Loddon Mallee have received their first dose of the vaccine.
“Protecting more vulnerable community members from coronavirus has always been, and will remain our priority,” he said.
* Bendigo Health encourages the general community to use the Commonwealth Government eligibility calculator to see when they might receive the vaccine. It is available here https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility