Health Watch Australia and Hanover Street Medical Centre featured on  Current Affair

Health Watch Australia and Hanover Street Medical Centre featured on Current Affair

Click the link to watch the video

https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/coronavirus-how-australians-can-get-covid19-vaccine/be8da1ff-6193-4541-9394-f38c7b60b6a8

From today, six million Australians can book in for the COVID-19 jab from a GP after the government launched a new booking system on the Department of Health website

But how does it work?

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt today revealed 338 clinics where people can book in to get the jab in NSW.

In Victoria there are 285 clinics listed on the website, 247 listed in Queensland and 84 in Western Australia.

In South Australia there are 84 clinics you can book an appointment at, 36 in Tasmania, 18 in the ACT and 10 clinics in the Northern Territory.

Even if you’re not a patient of the practices listed, you should be able to make an appointment at the clinics on the website.

“You can approach your practice directly, not every practice will start immediately … as we say from 1000 (clinics) next week to over 4000 by the end of April,” Mr Hunt said.

Is it really that easy to make a booking?

Sandy Donnison is one of the six million Aussies who now qualify for the vaccine.

“I’m over 70 and I have idiopathic lung fibrosis, so I really do need to get it,” Ms Donnison told A Current Affair.

While her local GP is offering the vaccine, Ms Donnison will have to wait a few weeks to get the jab.

“If I had to go somewhere else, I wouldn’t be as comfortable. I know my doc, he knows my full condition, I know he wouldn’t give it to me unless he thought I should have it,” she said.

While Ms Donnison would prefer to see her own doctor, she made calls to other clinics around Australia to find out if booking elsewhere was any easier.

One clinic in Brisbane said they couldn’t help her even though it is on the list to supply the vaccine.

A clinic in Sydney said they could book her in next week and a Melbourne clinic said they won’t be ready for another two weeks.

Maria Ross in Melbourne is also hoping to get the vaccine at her local clinic. 

“I have MS, so my immune system is so low, so you know it is pretty risky going out, I haven’t been able to leave the house … so yeah I am very keen to get it,” she said.

Susan Karakostas, who is the operations manager for Health Watch Australia (which owns the Hanover Street Medical Centre), said phone lines have been “really busy”.

“People are just keen to get the vaccine and move on and travel,” she said.

AMA Vice President Dr Chris Moy represents GPs and is asking people to be kind to receptionists over the next few weeks.

“What we need to do is to do this in an orderly fashion where everybody is kind to each other and is patient as we go through.”

Is it safe?

Head of the vaccines taskforce Professor Brendan Murphy has reassured people the vaccine is safe after four people in Queensland experienced anaphylactic shock following a jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We expected to see anaphylaxis, all of our vaccine clinics are prepared and have adrenalin on hand, and they know how to manage this condition,” he said.

How to start the process:

The first thing you have to do is confirm you are eligible, and you can do that on the government website.

You just need to confirm your age or your medical condition or if you are an emergency worker.

Then you can enter your postcode and it will tell you the nearest clinics that are offering the vaccine which you can contact yourself.

Are there enough vaccines to go around?

The other issue is supply, but Mr Hunt said that won’t be an issue in two weeks when the locally-produced vaccine is available.

“In addition, there will be over 100 Commonwealth vaccination clinics that will be made available, those details will be placed online within the next 48 hours,” he said.

“While some GP clinics are coming online next week, they won’t be releasing appointments until they are sure of their vaccine deliveries,” Professor Murphy said.

For more information on where you can book in to get a vaccine visit: https://www.health.gov.au/

And if you prefer not to use the online option, you can call the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 1800 020 080.

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