Communities urged to consider getting Covid-19 vaccinations

Getting the COVID-19 jab at the Belmont mass vaccination centre.

 

AS the numbers of cases of COVID-19’s Delta strain increase in Sydney and Melbourne, no new cases have been seen in Port Stephens or the Myall Coast.

However, exposure sites have crept into Wallsend and Thornton.

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We, like all communities are at risk through freight movements.

A pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic for freight workers has been placed on the Pacific Highway at Taree and there are more of these pop-up testing sites planned to help keep communities safe.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), who advise the Minister for Health on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and other immunisation issues, have changed their advice around vaccination stating that, “All individuals aged 18 years and above in greater Sydney, including adults under 60 years of age, should strongly consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine including COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

“This is on the basis of the increasing risk of COVID-19 and ongoing constraints of Comirnaty (Pfizer) supplies.

“In addition, people in areas where outbreaks are occurring can receive the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose, rather than the usual 12 weeks, to bring forward optimal protection.”

For those in regional areas, vaccination is considered key and all residents are being asked to get the jab.

ATAGI states, “Maximal protection requires two doses of vaccine, but even a single dose of either vaccine provides substantial protection (by more than 70%) against hospitalisation.

“A single dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca partially reduces transmission by around half and therefore may also benefit close contacts and the community.

“It should be noted that there is a delay of 2-3 weeks after receiving a first dose of vaccine and being protected from COVID-19.”

Over 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have now been administered in Australia.

If you haven’t booked in to have your vaccine yet, you can find out more by speaking to your doctor.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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