BOOSTED supplies of COVID-19 vaccines will be available next week from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie.
"For those wishing to be vaccinated, GPs will have plenty of doses available and are well informed to advise on the best vaccine for you," Healthy North Coast CEO Julie Sturgess said.
"Supplies to general practice are increasing from 22,550 per week to 26,400. That means 3850 more vaccines a week will be available for North Coast residents.
"These increases follow the 10,000-dose increase earlier this month and will significantly assist with the vaccine rollout, bringing the total number of doses available through general practices to 26,400 per week."
There have also been increased dose allocations to Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (formerly known as GP-led Respiratory Clinics).
Identified high demand GP clinics and Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics with a current allocation of 400 doses per week will now receive 600 per week. Sites with a current allocation of 200 per week will receive 300 per week. Sites with a current allocation of 150 per week will receive 200 per week.
These targeted increases are intended to boost access to the vaccines within areas of need and ensure sites that consistently use all doses have enough vaccines to administer second doses.
In the fortnight to May 25, there have been more than 75,000 vaccine doses given in the Healthy North Coast footprint. This is an increase of around 18,000 on the previous fortnight.
Primary care has now administered almost 2 million vaccinations across the nation and continues to lead the country's vaccination effort, having administered more than half of the COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
With the evolving COVID situation in Victoria, NSW Health is recommending people avoid non-essential travel to Greater Melbourne or the City of Greater Bendigo while the COVID-19 concerns notice is in place.
Anyone who has been in an affected area or a place of high concern in Victoria and who is visiting or returning to NSW should visit the NSW Government website for interstate travellers (https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/interstate-hotspots) to find out if they need to self-isolate or be tested.
Ms Sturgess said it was essential to remain COVID-safe and not let our guard down.
"We need to remain vigilant about preventing the spread of the virus," she said. "If you're experiencing even mild symptoms, make sure you get tested early at one of our local testing centres and self-isolate until a negative test result is received.
"Continue to practice hand hygiene and distancing and consider wearing a mask when you're out."
Meanwhile, a change in the approved storage period for the Pfizer COVID vaccine will make it much easier to rollout the vaccine in rural and remote communities once supply increases later this year, according to the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).
RDAA has welcomed news that the vaccine can now be stored up to 31 days at normal fridge temperatures at the point of use.
The change in storage requirements follows approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
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