Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 602 ..


protection that it offers. I was just looking at some updated stats, and I think more than 10,000 vaccinations in total have now been given at the Garran surge centre. Given the challenging international supply position, this is incredibly heartening, providing a greater layer of protection for those most at risk in the community and those most at risk of being exposed to the potential for transmission.

The ACT established the first vaccination hub at the Garran surge centre, administering the first Pfizer vaccine in the ACT to Maddy, a Canberra Health Services COVID-19 testing nurse, and to Dr Sanjaya Senanayake, an infectious diseases senior specialist at the ANU and with Canberra Health Services. Maddy and Sanjaya were the first of many frontline workers to receive the vaccine, and I would like to acknowledge the incredible efforts of all of our health staff who have facilitated this program.

In its first week of the rollout, the surge centre administered about 977 doses of Pfizer. During week 5, last week, it delivered a total of more than 2,260 AstraZeneca and Pfizer doses. It will continue to grow as supply continues to increase.

Eligible Canberrans under phase 1a, which includes our border, quarantine and frontline healthcare workers, can book their vaccination at the surge centre at Garran. This has been expanded to more health workers in recent weeks. At this time, the Garran surge centre clinic is only taking bookings for healthcare, border and quarantine workers. Others are encouraged to check out the commonwealth eligibility program.

MRS JONES: Minister, on the COVID response, what have you been able to achieve today on the long lines at our testing centres today, yesterday and the night before?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Jones for the supplementary question. It has been very busy at our testing centres over the last couple of days. We thank Canberrans for their patience. I know that many people have been lining up for some hours at our testing sites.

We have staffed up as much as we have been able to. It has also been very busy across our hospital system, so there have been some constraints in moving nursing staff into our testing centres. We have done as much as we can. We try to be very clear in communicating with people that there are likely to be waits. We have encouraged people who are in quarantine, because they are not presenting any risk of transmission to the community, to wait a day or two to go and get their test, because they are already in quarantine anyway. We have also been reminding people that they can make an appointment to get tested at commonwealth-funded respiratory assessment centres, which I am sure are also very busy. For people who need to know when their appointment is going to be, that is also a good option.

We have made the decision not to move resources from the vaccination surge centre at this point in time. As I discussed with Mrs Jones this morning, we expect that today will probably be the last of the really peak busy days; we are hoping that demand will start to ease off. We have seen our testing sites go from conducting an average of about 400 tests a day over the past few weeks to conducting about 1,500 to 1,700


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video