Vaccination clinic staff celebrate

Staff who have worked in the EGHS Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic were recently thanked for their work with a ‘cut out’ ‘celebration.

The EGHS vaccination clinic commenced operations on March 19 2021. Despite the stress of being 12 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing that vaccination was the way out, created a sense of purpose and hope for all involved.

Thirty five Registered Nurses, 17 other nurses and clinicians and 12 administration staff all put their hands up to undergo additional training to help vaccinate the community.

Staff underwent a formal Nurse Immuniser course through the University of South Australia, extensive COVID modules developed by both the State and Commonwealth Governments, education modules on each of the ATAGI approved COVID vaccinations and anaphylaxis training. Staff were redeployed from other areas and picked up additional shifts to work in the clinic and attend the outreach clinics of various organisations in the community.

EGHS was the first rural health service in the Grampians to commence a vaccination program and we began with our most vulnerable cohort of consumers in Residential Aged Care. Thereafter, staff and the community were vaccinated according to a risk matrix set by the Department of Health. As the roll out continued and the eligibility criteria opened up, Pyrenees House was converted into a lively community vaccination clinic which was the busiest and most successful outside of metro and regional areas administering a total of 28,600 vaccinations!

EGHS was established as a lead vaccination Hub by the Grampians Public Health Unit and provided vaccination support to Stawell Regional Health, Maryborough District Health Service and East Wimmera Health Service and their communities, visiting a total 140 outreach clinics.

The outreach clinics held included Streatham, Rokewood, Skipton, Lake Bolac, Mortlake, Willaura, Elmhurst, Halls Gap, Great Western, Pomonal, Stawell, St Arnaud , Avoca, Maryborough and Landsborough, and a three day clinic at the Ararat Town Hall.

The team also held clinics at aged care facilities including 70 Lowe Street, Garden View Court, Ararat Retirement Village, Eventide Homes Stawell, McPherson Smith Nursing Home, St Arnaud, Charlton, Wycheproof and Birchip. Visits were also made to supported accommodation in Ararat, Stawell, St Arnaud, as well as to the private homes of people unable to attend clinics.

These clinics were all held in addition to the regular vaccination clinic days.

The EGHS vaccination clinic is still operational in partnership with Ararat Medical Centre and continues to support the wider Grampians Region.

EGHS would like to acknowledge the incredible work of staff across the whole organisation and their commitment to providing quality healthcare in a challenging time. It is not only the staff in the vaccination clinic who contributed to its success, it is everyone who continued to work in their areas, sometimes with less team members, and all of the supporting services surrounding the vaccination program.