Vaccine Outreach Program for Homeless South Australians

The Marshall Liberal Government will trial a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for South Australians experiencing homelessness in the city as part of our COVID-19 outreach program.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said a mobile team will safely deliver the vaccine to vulnerable South Australians accessing homelessness services at Baptist Care SA.

“The COVID-19 vaccination program is our doorway out of the pandemic, and the Marshall Liberal Government is working hard to give every South Australian access to the vital vaccine so we can continue to keep our state safe and strong,” Minister Wade said.

“We are committed to protecting all South Australians, especially our most vulnerable citizens, from the effects of COVID-19 and will continue to do everything we can to help fast track the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

“We are developing outreach programs like this to help our state’s vaccine rollout, and I encourage all South Australians to roll up their sleeves when it’s their turn.”

Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) and SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) staff members will use a decommissioned SAAS vehicle to transport and administer the COVID-19 vaccines to those at the Baptist Care SA’s WestCare Centre.

The trial is part of a program being developed through a partnership between SA Health and the SA Homelessness Alliances, as part of the Marshall Government’s plan to provide the vaccine to all South Australians.

The five Alliances were established on 1 July this year, to service the complex and evolving needs of clients experiencing or at risk of homelessness across South Australia.

CALHN Executive Lead for COVID-19, Rachael Kay, said the trial marks the first stage of the outreach program.

“People experiencing homelessness may not be able to attend a clinic to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, so we are looking at what we can do to help get the vaccine to them,” Ms Kay said.

“This outreach which will be provided through the Wayville clinic team, will deliver an easy way for vulnerable South Australians to access the vaccine and book in for a second dose, to ensure they receive the best protection against COVID-19.”

SAAS COVID-19 Incident Commander, Chris Howie, said South Australians facing homelessness often face barriers in accessing health care and require more accessible options.

“A mobile service is a positive solution that not only protects vulnerable members of our community from COVID-19 but also others in South Australia – including paramedics and other healthcare workers,” Mr Howie said.

“It is important that all South Australians have access to this vital vaccine. Our crews are committed to utilising their out of hospital expertise to help bring it to those who may not be able to access it by more traditional means.”

Baptist Care SA CEO, Graham Brown, said he is pleased to be working with SA Health to ensure that vulnerable people in the Adelaide CBD do not miss out on COVID-19 vaccinations.

“Not having a safe place to call home means that people often don’t have easy access to healthcare and are more susceptible to illness,” Mr Brown said.

“Baptist Care SA is proud to be a trusted partner with more than 100 years of history of supporting South Australians in need, so it makes good sense to bring the vaccinations to them rather than expect them to front up to other formal clinics that are unfamiliar to them.

“We’ll be extending a warm welcome as we always do and using the opportunity to offer additional supports as may be required, including our Community Food Hub offering affordable groceries and free fruit, vegetables, and bread.”

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