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SA's first booking-only COVID vaccination hub opens

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A new “mass” COVID-19 vaccination clinic intended to eventually administer up to 3000 doses per day has opened at the Adelaide Showgrounds – but people will have to book online prior to getting their jab.

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The Wayville hub opened for vaccinations at noon, with 150 frontline health care workers and emergency services personnel expected to get vaccinated by the end of the day.

The SA Health-run site will initially be a dedicated Pfizer facility and target frontline healthcare workers who are under 50 years old and in phase 1b of the vaccine rollout.

From May 10, it will also administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged over 50.

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning that currently, only 12 people can get vaccinated at the hub at one time.

She said the hub would later expand to allow up to 40 people to get vaccinated at once.

“We are very keen to have thousands of people getting vaccinated and that’s the whole point of having a mass vaccination clinic,” she said.

“If you can imagine you’ve got 40 cubicles and when things get ramped up you really can have quite a large number of people getting through.

“From us, from a health perspective, we want to get everybody vaccinated, so it’s in our best interest to make it as easy as possible.”

Spurrier’s deputy, Dr Emily Kirkpatrick, said unlike SA Health-run testing facilities, people will need to book in advance prior to arriving at the Showgrounds to get vaccinated.

“Unfortunately (there will be) no walk-ins,” she told reporters this morning.

“The reason for that is because it’s a mass vaccine site, the logistics have to stepped through in a particular way and we also have to risk-assess and make sure we are seeing people who are in those phased groups as per the Commonwealth.”

Kirkpatrick said a booking link had already been sent out to different groups in Phase 1A and 1B.

She said so far, SA Health had experienced “no issues at all” with the booking system.

“We are moving ahead at a rapid pace in terms of our mass vaccination clinics,” she said.

“We had some individuals turn up here this morning showing and checking their booking and we know it’s working.”

Kirkpatrick urged people to also consider getting vaccinated at their preferred GP clinic.

GPs and primary care centres have shouldered the bulk of the state’s rollout (82,523 doses), while 16,313 vaccines have been given in Commonwealth Aged Care Centres.

Premier Steven Marshall said he was unsure whether the vaccination hub would continue operating while other events took place at the Showgrounds, including the Royal Adelaide Show.

A review into the future of the Showgrounds clinic will take place in two months.

Marshall said two other vaccination hubs were due to open in the coming weeks, including one at the former Masters Hardware site in Noarlunga and the other at the Playford Civic Centre in Elizabeth.

“While we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it’s their turn, we also ask for patience in the first instance as we expect a high level of interest from those over 50 years of age, and not everyone will be able to get their appointment straight away,” he said.

The national vaccine rollout appears to be gathering momentum after Australia on Thursday surpassed 2.1 million doses administered.

This includes more than 80,000 shots administered across the country in the most recent 24-hour reporting period.

The latest vaccination data from the Commonwealth shows SA Health has administered 56,642 COVID-19 vaccines as of Wednesday, April 28, including 1164 jabs given on Tuesday.

In total, 155,478 vaccines have been administered in SA.

Marshall said SA had the third highest vaccination rate in the country.

“I don’t want to be competitive, but we are doing better than Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales and we are now up on a daily run-rate of around 5000 doses being administered,” he said.

COVID-19 patient admitted to RAH

A man in his 60s has been admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hotel’s intensive care unit after his COVID-19 infection deteriorated while he was in quarantine at Tom’s Court medi-hotel.

He is in a stable condition requiring oxygen.

Kirkpatrick said he is not of Indian origin.

South Australia reported two new cases today, including a man in his 30s and and a man in his 40s.

Both arrived from overseas and have been in hotel quarantine.

There are currently 33 active cases in South Australia.

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