Gloucester and Stroud have high COVID vaccination rates

Gloucester High School student, Elyssa Keen got her first COVID vaccine injection last Friday. Photo Anne Keen
Gloucester High School student, Elyssa Keen got her first COVID vaccine injection last Friday. Photo Anne Keen

Gloucester and Stroud residents should be proud of their COVID vaccination uptake with both communities posting high percentage rates.

As of Friday (September 10), Gloucester sat at 74 per cent first dose and 44 per cent fully vaccinated, while Stroud was at 82 per cent first dose and 54 per cent fully vaccinated. These rates are based on postcode, and are the percentage of those in the eligible category at the time and have been provided by the federal government.

Recently, Gloucester Medico opened up its vaccination program to the younger side of the population, with those 16 years and up able to get the jab.

Several Gloucester High School students, like 16-year-old Elyssa Keen, took advantage of the opportunity and secured an appointment as soon as they could.

"It's doing my part. My part in protecting my community and myself," Elyssa said. "It's a way we can all be a little bit safer."

It's doing my part. My part in protecting my community and myself.

Elyssa Keen

The Medico medical centres in Gloucester and Stroud have been a big part of the driving force behind the high vaccination rates. As of Friday (September 10), Gloucester Medico had injected 4766 first doses and 1697 second doses and Stroud Medico had given 1443 first doses and 548 second doses.

Also joining the charge in helping the community get vaccinated is Gloucester Max Value Pharmacy, rolling out its first vaccinations on Friday August 27. As of Wednesday September 8, the pharmacy had already provided more than 100 vaccinations, with another 300 doses due to arrive next week.

These vaccination numbers are having an impact on the ability for the MidCoast Council region to stay out of lockdown despite a second positive case in Booral, according to member for Upper Hunter, Dave Layzell.

The region was originally denied the lockdown lift during the statewide announcement on Thursday (September 9) but the decision was overturned late Friday night (September 10) after member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead lobbied the matter with deputy premier, John Barilaro.

"The strong vaccination rates we are seeing in the Gloucester area are testament to the amazing efforts of the local GPs and the pharmacy. They are working incredible hours to ensure that everyone is given an opportunity to get a vaccine," Mr Layzell said.

"I am particularly proud of the efforts of the Stroud community.

"They obviously have taken upon themselves to climb the vaccination mountain no matter the obstacle in their path. And they are reaping the benefits which is obviously why the health authorities feel that the community can remain out of lockdown despite the recent case which was infectious in the community."

"High vaccination rates do provide a level of security in the community and this is a factor in lockdown reviews and decision making," Mr Layzell said.

High vaccination rates do provide a level of security in the community and this is a factor in lockdown reviews and decision making.

Dave Layzell

Gloucester and Stroud medical centres are providing AstraZeneca for people aged 60 years and over or Pfizer vaccines for people aged between 12 and 59 years.

To book in, call 6558 1604 or email vaccineclinic@gloucestermedical.com.au.

Gloucester pharmacy is currently providing AstraZeneca.

Pharmacist, Li Meng Wong said the message to people living in a non-hot spot is to wait the 12 weeks before they get their second dose.

"Efficiency for one, two and three months apart is 55 per cent, 63 per cent and 81 per cent. So the longer they wait, the better it is," Li explained.

"In the event they need to go into a hot spot area, or Gloucester suddenly become a hot spot, then ring your doctor or ring us to bring the appointment forward."

The pharmacy plans to get the Moderna vaccine once it's available to help vaccinate people aged 12 to 59 years.

To book in for a vaccination call the pharmacy on 6558 1043 or email cbfgloucesterstaff@gmail.com.

For more information about the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation's (ATAGI) advice on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in an outbreak setting visit www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-statement-on-use-of-covid-19-vaccines-in-an-outbreak-setting.