WA has opened its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility criteria to people aged over 30 and anyone from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) community over 16 years.
From Thursday state-run clinics will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to citizens between 30 and 49, while those aged 50 years and older will continue to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The WA government said this distribution was in line with advice from health experts.
“It wasn’t that long ago that we all wished for a vaccine to help us out of this pandemic,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“With more doses now becoming available, Western Australia can get on with it and get vaccinated.
“We’ve opened up the COVID-19 vaccination rollout to a broader group of people in an effort to build momentum and get more people vaccinated,” he added.
The WA government expects that by the end of June the state’s four metropolitan clinics will have capacity for over 30,000 vaccination appointments every week. It has committed to establishing more clinics as demand increases.
Over 75 health different providers across the state – be they service clinics operated by the WA Country Health Service, GPs, respiratory clinics and Aboriginal Medical Services – are administering COVID-19 jabs in the regions.
A joint statement from the premier and health minister Roger Cook on Tuesday called on the prime minister to deliver more vaccines to GPs so that all branches of the rollout could keep up with demand.
“The expanded rollout will mean state-run clinics will be extra busy, but I ask people to be patient while we ramp up our clinics.
“State-run clinics are just one way of getting the vaccine, so I call on the Commonwealth to deliver more vaccines to our local GPs and move quickly to allow pharmacies to join the rollout efforts,” the premier said.
McGowan also urged all Western Australians to roll-up their sleeves and get the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and the wider community.
“WA’s expanded rollout is in accordance with the advice from health experts to provide the Pfizer vaccine to everyone aged 30 to 49 and the AstraZeneca vaccine for people 50 years and older.”
For those aged 30 plus who are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, bookings can be made from today to receive the vaccine on Thursday 10 June.
People from the ATSI community aged 16 and over can receive the vaccine now and appointments remain available for people in the Phase 1A and 1B cohorts including people who work in disability and aged care, and younger adults with a specified medical condition.
Health minister Roger Cook said he would like to see everyone vaccinated to ‘protect our wonderful lifestyle in WA’.
“This is a great opportunity for a whole new cohort of Western Australians to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Cook said.
“I encourage all adults in Western Australia to roll up for WA and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”