SESLHD staff among state's first to receive COVID-19 vaccine
There was much excitement across the District on Monday morning as staff from throughout SESLHD, classified as being in the most at-risk 1A group, were among the first to receive the long-awaited vaccination for COVID-19.
Staff boarded buses at the Garrawarra Centre, St George, Sutherland, Prince of Wales and Sydney/Sydney Eye hospitals early on Monday, while others travelled independently, to attend either Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) or Liverpool hospital hubs, to receive the first of two vaccinations, which will be administered three weeks apart.
Dr Andrew Finckh, Director, Emergency Services, Sutherland Hospital, was on the hospital’s first bus load on Monday morning: “It’d be fair to say there was a bit of excitement – everyone was looking forward to it. It went very smoothly.”
Dr Oliver Barrett, ED consultant, received the vaccine on Tuesday 23 February: “I feel privileged to be in the first group of people receiving the vaccine and I encourage everyone to take up the opportunity to get it when they can.”
A mixture of medical, nursing, allied health, clerical, orderly and cleaning staff from St George Hospital received their first vaccination this week.
Kate Jarrett, Clinical Nurse Consultant, SGH Emergency Services, said the staff at Liverpool Hospital had “great streamlined systems” like shuttle buses from carparks and bus stops to the actual hub site.
“The minute you arrive everyone was very welcoming,” Ms Jarrett said.
“There’s been no negativity at all – everyone I know thought it was very good that I was among the first to be getting the vaccine.
“So many thousands of people around the world have already had this vaccine. We’ve all got to move forward to fight this together,” Ms Jarrett said.
In the first three weeks, 35,100 frontline workers throughout NSW will receive their first vaccination, followed by a second vaccination three weeks later.
The initial three-week vaccination phase will see hotel quarantine workers given the Pfizer vaccine – including all workers within quarantine hotels, those screening arrivals at the airport, health staff, cleaners, NSW Police officers and security guards.