A large COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be established in the heart of the city of Sydney, as well as two extra mass vaccination centres in a bid by the NSW government to get more ‘doses out as quickly and safely as possible’.
NSW health minister Brad Hazzard announced on Thursday that a site in the centre of the city, close to light and heavy rail lines, would be operating with extended opening hours to vaccinate people who live and work in Sydney.
He added that the government would also be repurposing an old Coles building in Macquarie Fields to vaccinate the community in South West Sydney, and a former David Jones building in Wollongong for people in the wider Illawarra.
“NSW is increasing access to vaccination in ever expanding numbers of local communities, with hundreds of NSW Health staff expected to be on site at the opened clinics,” Hazzard said.
The three extra vaccination sites add to a major Sydney Olympic Park hub and a second mass centre for the Hunter Region that is due to open in a matter of weeks.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new measures would strengthen the existing network of general practitioners currently administering COVID-19 vaccine shots across the state and add to the 100 vaccination clinics and outreach sites being run by NSW Health.
“In NSW we have a sense of urgency about getting jabs in arms, because once the vast majority of our population is vaccinated, we can start a conversation about reaching a ‘covid-normal’ state,” the premier said.
A joint statement from the NSW health minister and premier underscored that all NSW Health hubs would be administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people 60 years and over, in line with advice from ATAGI. People 40 years and over would be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at the state government hubs, in addition to any person in a vaccination priority group as identified by the federal government).
For those aged 40 years and under, and were seeking to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine, the government urged people to make a booking with their local GP to discuss the option.