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Please be respectful of vax booking centre staff

Friday 9 July 2021

News_Please be respectful of vax booking centre staff

Central West Hospital and Health Service call centre staff are copping rising levels of abuse while processing callers wanting to book a COVID-19 vaccination.

Central West Health Executive Director of Medical Services Dr David Walker said health service vaccination clinics in the region were open to everyone in the community.

“We are offering primarily Pfizer vaccine, but AstraZeneca is also available for those who want it,’’ he said.

“But to access either vaccine, our call centre staff are required to run through a series of assessment and logistical criteria with the caller before making a booking.

“It is at this point that our call centre staff are reporting rising levels of abuse with callers who do not have the patience to work through the assessment criteria before a booking can be made.

“This is simply not acceptable. “Our call centre staff come to work to assist people to get access to vaccinations, not to be
abused, accused or disrespected.

“Our staff are professionals with comprehensive knowledge of our vaccination program system and they do everything they can to enable access for all residents and visitors in a timely manner.

“So, please, be patient, be respectful and be flexible as to when your booking can be made, and you will receive your vaccination.

“Information about our upcoming clinics is available through social media, local health facilities and other local outlets as soon as they are confirmed.’’

Dr Walker Central West vaccination teams this week had been delivering second dose AstraZeneca and first dose Pfizer to the Winton and surrounding communities.

“At Winton, we delivered 216 second dose AstraZeneca vaccinations, and about 365 first dose Pfizer vaccinations, which was a very good result,’’ he said.

The health service will continue delivering both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to Central West communities over the coming weeks.

Upcoming AstraZeneca catch-up clinics:

  • Barcaldine: Monday 19 July, at Barcaldine Hospital
  • Aramac: Tuesday 20 July, at Aramac PHC
  • Muttaburra: Tuesday 20 July, at Muttaburra PHC
  • Blackall: Wednesday 21 July, at Blackall Hospital
  • Tambo: Wednesday 21 July, at Tambo PHC
  • Alpha: Thursday 29 July, at Alpha Hospital
  • Jericho: Thursday 29 July, at Jericho PHC
  • Longreach: Tuesday 5, August at the Longreach Civic & Cultural Centre
  • Winton: Thursday 12 August, at the Winton Hospital.

Upcoming Pfizer clinics, first and second doses:

  • Winton: Wednesday-Friday 7-9 July, at the council facilities in Vindex St
  • Longreach: Monday-Wednesday 12-14 July, at the Longreach Civic & Cultural Centre
  • Blackall: (inc. Tambo and Isisford) Thursday-Friday 15-16 July, at the Blackall Cultural Centre
  • Bedourie: Thursday 22 July at Bedourie Community Centre
  • Boulia; Friday-Saturday 23-24 July at Boulia Shire Hall
  • Barcaldine: (inc. Alpha, Jericho, Muttaburra and Aramac) Monday-Wednesday 26-28 July, at the Barcaldine Town Hall
  • Longreach: (inc. Muttaburra- Isisford) Monday-Wednesday 2-4 August; at the Longreach Civic & Cultural Centre
  • Winton: Thursday-Friday 29-30 July; at the council facilities in Vindex St.

Central West Health has partnered with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland and Western Queensland Primary Health Network to deliver the vaccination program to all communities across the region.

As part of the program, the RFDS will deliver both AstraZeneca and Pfizer clinics at Windorah (13 July) and at Stonehenge and Yaraka (14 July), as well as Pfizer clinics at Jundah (20 July) and Birdsville (21 July).

Central West Health is offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to everyone who has had the first dose of the vaccine without any serious adverse effects, including adults aged under 50 years.

Everyone else, aged 16 and over, who has not yet had a first dose of COVID–19 vaccine, is being offered Pfizer.

Pfizer first and second doses should be a minimum 21 days apart but can be administered up to 42 days from first vaccination.

Under current national guidelines, mixing vaccines is not recommended, so people who have had a first dose of AstraZeneca must have AstraZeneca as their second dose, not Pfizer.

New national health advice now recommends a one-week gap between a person’s COVAX and any other vaccine, including the seasonal FlUVAX, rather than the previous two-week gap.

Dr Walker said Central West residents should keep this one-week gap in mind when booking their various vaccinations.

“The Pfizer vaccine is now also recommended for pregnant woman, so we encourage pregnant women to come forward and receive the vaccine so they and their unborn child can be protected from COVID-19,’’ he said.

For the vaccination clinic in your community, all bookings can be made by phoning 1800 953 703 between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm business days or emailing: CW-COVAX@health.qld.gov.au

ENDS

PHOTO CAPTIONS
Central West HHS call centre staff member Kimberlee Saunders.

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au

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Last updated: 9 July 2021