The first freezers to store the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in South Australia and will be installed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre hubs today.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the investment of almost $30,000 puts South Australia in the best place possible to start vaccinating our frontline health and quarantine workers as soon as we receive the vaccine from the Commonwealth Government.
“We are about to embark on the state’s biggest ever peacetime operation. Given the scale and complexity of the operation in front of us, we know that there will be road bumps, but we are determined to ensure the safe, efficient and timely delivery of vaccines in a prioritised manner,” Minister Wade said.
“The freezers, which are being installed at the RAH and the FMC hubs today and can each store about 280,000 vaccine doses, are the next step in the Marshall Liberal Government’s strong plan to protect South Australians from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
“The specialist Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers are designed to operate efficiently at -70 degrees Celsius as required to safely store the Pfizer vaccine doses.”
Minister Wade said the fast-track of FMC as a hub, and the ability to rollout more vaccines quicker than expected, had been made possible thanks to the Federal Government’s increasing supplies in its first month supply schedules.
The other vaccine hubs throughout South Australia will be located at Lyell McEwin Hospital, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Riverland General Hospital in Berri, Mount Gambier Hospital, Whyalla Hospital, Pt Pirie Hospital and Pt Augusta Hospital.
“In line with the Commonwealth Government’s Phase 1a, the first vaccines will be administered to medi-hotel and airport staff, and health care workers working in high risk exposure and transmission areas, such as COVID-19 testing clinics and emergency departments, as well as residents and staff of aged care and disability facilities,” Minster Wade said.
“Having our freezers installed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre this week means we can start vaccinating these high-risk groups within 24 hours of us receiving the vaccine.
“We are hitting the ground running on our vaccine rollout program and putting all South Australians in good stead to be safely vaccinated throughout each stage of the program.”
Central Adelaide Local Health Network Executive Director Nursing, Rebecca Badcock, said there has been significant interest from staff to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination program.
“We’re thrilled to be front and centre in the vaccine rollout, in particular as we approach the delivery phase of the program, Ms Badcock said.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from staff and the wider community with hundreds of clinical and non-clinical staff with relevant qualifications and experience registering to be part of our vaccination program.
“All COVID-19 vaccination workforce including administrative staff are required to undertake training and induction programs to support the rapid upskilling and surge capacity requirements.”
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout across South Australia will be undertaken in line with the Commonwealth Government’s Vaccine Roadmap.
Find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au