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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2165 ..

Through an improved clinic model, our clinics have increased capacity to administer more than 14,000 doses per week. Half of the additional 4,000 vaccine appointments per week are reserved for high-risk eligibility groups, including healthcare, disability and aged care workers. The ACT government is continuing to implement program changes, with efforts focused on improving the uptake among these high-risk groups.

The access and sensory COVID-19 vaccination clinic for people with disability at Garran continues to be well received by the Canberra community. Through some successful innovation in clinic flow, Canberra Health Services has been able to double the number of appointments each week without compromising its service to individuals and their carers.

The ACT government has been focused on ensuring equity of access to vaccines for those Canberrans unlikely to engage with health services. This may include homeless and housing insecure populations; culturally and linguistically diverse communities; people living with drug and alcohol dependencies or mental health challenges; and some congregate living arrangements, including secure facilities, supported accommodation and refuges. To ensure that we are reaching these Canberrans, we are working with key stakeholders to develop and implement programs to support COVID-19 vaccination.

At the end of June, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, AHPPC, recommended to national cabinet that the residential aged care workforce be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of working in residential aged care facilities.

To assist in facilitating this requirement, our health officials are continuing to liaise directly with residential aged care facilities and community groups to further promote uptake of vaccinations to workers, as well as offering any workers the option to be contacted directly to book their vaccination appointment and skip booking lines.

On Thursday, 22 July, the Prime Minister announced that all community pharmacies across Australia will be eligible to request involvement in the AstraZeneca rollout. The Prime Minister noted that it was expected that pharmacies should be able to begin administering AstraZeneca from mid-August. The Chief Health Officer has recently amended the relevant regulation to support this decision.

The supply of vaccines to primary care is also increasing substantially. There are currently 21 general practices with access to the Pfizer vaccine and another five practices coming online in the next week. Weekly supply to primary care is estimated to increase to 6,300 Pfizer doses in the first week of August, increasing to 7,200 doses in the last week of August. For AstraZeneca, there are more than 80 participating GP and commonwealth-led respiratory assessment clinics administering this COVID-19 vaccination in the ACT.

Thank you to Canberrans who have already stepped up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. I encourage all Canberrans to get vaccinated when they are eligible.

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