Vaccinations for children start on Monday, but some regional GPs are struggling with the supply

Children between the ages of five and 11 will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination for the first time on Monday, but some regional medical centers have still not received their supplies.

Albury Wodonga Family Medicine has about 70 children booked for Monday, but their shipment of vaccines has not arrived.

The owners said they would drive into the Victoria region today to pick up vaccines from another clinic, after calling around everyone they knew all morning.

“It will bring us through Monday so we do not have to call all the patients and go through the difficult time of rescheduling,” said co-owner Leon Morgiewicz.

“It was just lucky that I knew someone and they had no clinics booked in early next week and were able to give me theirs.

“Once I have my birth, I give them back the doses I have taken from them.”

Morgiewicz said that every other time he had ordered vaccines, the courier company sent him a message the night before, in which they said his delivery should arrive. He has not heard from them.

The exterior of a brick building that houses the Albury Wodonga Family Medical Center.
Albury Wodonga Family Medical Center has about 70 children booked in to get their vaccinations on Monday, but their supply has not arrived.(ABC Goulburn Murray: Anna Chisolm)

“If I were not able to make the ring around, we would have had an absolutely awful Monday,” Mr Morgiewicz said.

“Our administrative staff would have had to call all the parents and change the schedule, we would have a doctor with a blank book who could not see other patients that she could have seen on the day, and a whole lot of children who had need vaccinations that did not get their vaccinations. It’s a shemozzle. “

Supply and demand

In eastern Victoria, it’s a mixed case in terms of vaccine availability, with half of the general practitioners’ clinics called ABC reporting that supplies were adequate and others reporting shortages.

Gippsland Regional Public Health Unit’s operations manager Annelie’s Titular said its seven state-run vaccination clinics across the region were well-stocked and that appointments were available.

David Monash of the Sales Wellington Respiratory Clinic said they received only half of the 200 doses they had ordered, with 90 children on the waiting list to be vaccinated from Monday.

“We were hoping to have some more because we could make more kids that way,” said Dr. Monash.

“We believe we will get another 200 next week.”

Echuca Moama Family Medical Practice said they had received their first 100 doses of Pfizer vaccines to be shared between the two medical clinics in the twin towns on the border with New South Wales.

Two large yellow wheeled steamers sit on the Murray River.
A general practitioner serving both Echuca and Moama has received 100 doses of the pediatric vaccine and has ordered 200 more.(Delivered: Campaspe Shire Council)

Receptionist Stephanie Owen said the shipment was to last for fourteen days and that they had already placed their next order of 200 doses – 100 doses for each clinic.

And in Horsham, pharmacist Cobie McQueen said her chemist would not hand out shots to children as staff had already been overrun with requests from adults seeking booster shots.

“Vaccine appointments are booked until February, and at the larger clinics in the city it’s the same,” Ms McQueen said.

Dr. Monash in Sale had another request from the community: teddy bears.

He said they already had several “trauma tams” on hand for young children if they became acidic during the vaccination process.

But he appealed to “any craft group out there” who would help donate more teddy bears to the kids.

“It’s much better than a lollipop,” said Dr. Monash.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, up and down arrows for volume.

Play video.  Duration: 2 minutes 37 seconds

What to do if you are sick and suspect you have COVID but cannot get a test.

Loading form …


Give a Comment