Wednesday 17 February 2021
Dear sector colleagues,
Earlier this week, a small group of sector leaders joined me for a brief update from SA Health on progress with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in South Australia.
Pleasingly, Monday's meeting coincided with the arrival of the first batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines (142,000) doses in Australia.
The Commonwealth has advised that it expects the first vaccinations in Australia will be administered from 22 February 2021.
As you can imagine, the distribution of the vaccines remains a highly complex logistical exercise, dependent on many external factors.
SA Health has been working closely with the Commonwealth and Local Health Networks to plan for the arrival of the vaccines in South Australia, which has included setting up freezers to appropriately store and distribute the Pfizer vaccine.
It is expected that the initial delivery of vaccines will arrive in South Australia from Monday 22 February, with the first vaccinations to be given to cohort 1a priority populations (quarantine and border workers, frontline health workers, and residential disability and aged care workers and residents) from mid-next week. The distribution of vaccines amongst these cohorts will be based on the number of doses the state receives.
With the first delivery of vaccines to Australia now confirmed, the implementation plans for distributing the vaccines will ramp up. As a result, there is likely to be a considerable amount of information released from the state and Commonwealth over the coming days and weeks. We will continue to share information as it comes to hand through this newsletter, meetings and forums.
At Monday's meeting, organisations sought advice and information from SA Health which we will make available across the sector. This includes FAQs on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, vaccination consent forms and information about when to time your flu shot with the COVID-19 vaccine. We have included useful links to some of this information in the articles below.
I’m very pleased to advise that, based on medical advice, the Australian Government has announced that everyone in Australia will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination free of charge should they wish to. Further information about this amendment to the COVID-19 vaccine policy.
Later next week I will be hosting an online forum for leaders of the disability and aged care sectors where we will hear directly from SA Health and the Commonwealth on some of the finer details relating to the rollout of the vaccine to priority populations. A recording of this forum will be made available online following the event.
Disability residential facility providers will have received an update on the vaccine implementation plan from the NDIS on Thursday 11 February 2021. A copy of this communique is here, and you can access all NDIS provider alerts regarding the COVID-19 vaccine on the NDIS website.
In the meantime, I encourage you to keep up to date on the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in South Australia through visiting the SA Health COVID-19 vaccine website. Here you will find links to a number of useful resources, some of which we have detailed below for your easy access.
If you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to contact DHS’s COVID-19 Response team at DHSCOVIDResponse@sa.gov.au
Ngaityalya (Kaurna: thank you)