AMA members get progress report on vaccine rollout

11 Mar 2021

Almost 220 AMA members took part in the second of the AMA’s member webinar series on the progress of the vaccination rollout, featuring experts across the field. 

The AMA’s member webinar series delivered its second update providing a progress report on the vaccination program and its rollout throughout Australia.   

AMA members were invited to attend last Friday’s webinar featuring experts across the field including Deputy Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd, Clinical Immunologist Dr Charlotte Slade and First Assistant Secretary to the Department of Health, Dr Lucas de Toca.  

Dr Khorshid told the webinar that Australia is extremely lucky to have two highly effective vaccines available.   

“It’s certainly very exciting to be at this point, but I’m also recognising the challenge ahead to get the whole population vaccinated and wanting to minimise any difficulties along the way,” Dr Khorshid said.   

Prof Kidd said doctors play a critical role in the largest mass immunisation program in the country’s history.  

“Already well over 70,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine which includes over 20,000 people in residential aged care facilities and disability care facilities across the country,” Prof Kidd said.    

“We as doctors have a huge role to play in providing advice to people, reassuring them and encouraging them to get vaccinated.”  

Dr Slade said she understands people’s concerns with the risk of allergy but wants to ensure the vaccines are very safe.   

“Importantly these vaccines are both not live – so they are safe to be given to any individual on immuno-suppression and anyone who is immuno-deficient. If people do have concerns, then it’s worth discussing with them,” Dr Slade said.    

Dr de Toca said the department is pleased with the response from general practice for the vaccine.    

“The Minister made very clear that primary care will be a cornerstone of the vaccine rollout with full recognition that general practices are providing the immense majority of the immunisations in Australia,” Dr de Toca said.   

“We are also considering the expanded eligibility for many other practices and providers as more doses become available and the rollout continues.”   

Dr Moy said the AMA is extremely vocal on the advocacy of the vaccine.    

 “We’ve been very involved in the advocacy side of things on a whole number of practical issues and we’ll also continue to work with the government department about making sure that those that didn’t pass the initial EOIs or are unaccredited can get involved at some stage,” Dr Moy said.   

“The second shot is really important for the robust protection part for the long term of those variants as well.”  

Watch this space for details on episode 3 of the AMA’s member webinar series. In the meantime, you can watch the full webinar here.