COVID-19 vaccine program continues for over 70s

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Practices across South Eastern NSW have been providing COVID-19 vaccinations to people over 70 - read about the stories from locals who have received the vaccine.

Almost 130 general practices in South Eastern NSW continue to offer the COVID-19 vaccines, as part of the Federal Government’s vaccination roll-out strategy.

According to Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN, the rollout has been going smoothly and she would encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Practices across our region are currently administering approximately 17,500 vaccines a week to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged over 55 years, and people aged over 70 years old, and without any adverse effects,” said Ms Kitcher.

In fact, it has been nearly two weeks since 70-year-old Kathy Johnson received the COVID vaccine at her local general practice.

Mrs Johnson has had some recent medical issues and checked with health professionals before deciding to get the vaccine.

“Because I had a few concerns I thought it was good to ask somebody rather than just thinking it was going to be okay. My haemotologist assured me that I should definitely have it and my GP said I was going to be fine. We also talked with the practice nurse about the pros and cons and all the possibilities,” said Mrs Johnson.

“My husband Peter didn’t have any concerns he just came along as an over 70."

“After we got the vaccine I had a sore arm, but that was from the injection otherwise I was fine. Peter had a bit of a headache but that was again another thing to be expected, it was gone the next day,” she said.

“We decided to get the vaccine for our own safety, to protect ourselves and the community. We have a daughter living overseas so eventually we would like her to be able to visit us and maybe be able to visit her. I think it will be important that we keep vaccinated and I think we’re probably going to have to do it every year like we do against the flu,” Mrs Johnson said.

 

 

(Pictured: Kathy Johnson after receiving a COVID vaccine at her local general practice)

 

Similar to Mrs Johnson, 79-year-old David Green received the COVID vaccine at his local general practice.

Mr Green is a volunteer chaplain at Coledale Hospital and believes it is important to get the COVID vaccine.

“COVID is not going to go away, I believe we need to get on top of this virus and getting vaccinated seems a logical thing to do. It is going to protect us and it is going to protect our families. The odds of anything happening are minimal and the benefits of having the vaccine are very good,” said Mr Green.

“I didn’t notice any symptoms following the vaccine. A couple of friends said they felt a bit tired afterwards but I think that is pretty normal after a vaccination.

“Getting my COVID vaccine was quite straight forward. I just made an appointment at my local general practice and there was a tent set up out the back where I got checked in by a nurse. After the injection they asked me to stay at the practice for 15 minutes to check that I didn’t have an allergic reaction,” Mr Green said.

“I’ll need to get the second COVID vaccination 12 weeks after I had the first one. I also need to get the flu vaccine but they said to wait two weeks after the COVID vaccine. When you get to my age you get a few lumps and bumps but I really don’t want to get COVID or the flu,” said Mr Green.

 

 

(Pictured: David Green receiving a COVID-19 vaccine from a nurse at his local general practice)

You can find out more about Kathy and David's COVID-19 vaccine experience by watching the video below!

 

 

COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out to people in phases, with those most at risk receiving their vaccinations first. People aged 70 years and older can receive the Astra Zeneca vaccine from a general practice that is an approved COVID-19 vaccination provider or a respiratory clinic.

To check if you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and to locate the nearest service, please visit the COVID vaccine eligibility checker website.