According to a statement released by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), more than 4600 GP practices have been given government approval to participate in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout from Phase 1b.
RACGP along with RACGP President Dr Karen Price welcome the news as a positive step.
“The strong response from GPs across the nation is welcome – it shows GPs overwhelmingly want to be able to vaccinate their patients,” says Dr Price.
“We want to see every practice that wants to provide these vaccinations to be able to do so. We need to get to the point where Covid-19 vaccinations are part of usual patient care as soon as we can.
“However, we appreciate that not all practices can be involved in the first stages of the rollout as the supply of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine will be limited.
“The 4600 practices approved to participate in the rollout will come on in phases.”
Dr Price adds that GP practices are ready and willing to participate in the Covid-19 vaccination process and are well placed to support a fast and safe rollout of the vaccines across Australia.
She says that GP practices are also in a valuable position to engage with vulnerable communities around the vaccinations, “particularly those … who work with culturally and linguistically diverse patients, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”.
However, Dr Prices points out that demand for the vaccines is and will continue to be high, so she implores community members “to please be patient and understanding” – she advises anyone with any questions or concerns around the vaccines to speak with their GP.
GPs who may be concerned about the rollout process are reassured by Dr Price that “practices participating in the rollout will be receiving information and guidance to support them in delivering the vaccine and the logistics that will entail”.
“I know practices will be gearing up and making all the necessary preparations to help in this mammoth effort, including completing the mandatory training modules,” says Dr Price.
“I have great confidence that our GPs are up to this task, and I want to thank them for their efforts because I know many are going above and beyond to make this happen for their patients.”