Thousands register for COVID-19 vaccinations in Centre's first week
The first patients through the doors at the NSW Health Vaccination Centre at Sydney Olympic Park were met with a round of applause from Sydney Local Health District staff – as they arrived for their immunisation.
The Vaccination Centre, which is being managed by the District, has the capacity to vaccinate up to 30,000 people a week, and thousands of people have already registered and made an appointment during its first week of operation.
The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard, NSW Health Secretary Elizabeth Koff, State Health Emergency Operations Centre Controller Susan Pearce, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and the District's Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson were at the Centre on its first day of operation.
"There's no doubt this Sydney Olympic Park facility will give us extra capacity. We envisage when it's fully up and running we'll be able to do about 30,000 doses every week," Ms Berejiklian said.
The Premier announced people over the age of 50 will be able to register from Wednesday 12 May to be vaccinated at the Centre from Monday 24 May, if they are unable to be vaccinated by their GP.
And, people aged 40 – 49 will be able to register an expression of interest via www.nsw.gov.au for an appointment to be vaccinated at a later date.
"It could be within weeks, we're envisaging that people aged 40 – 49 will also able to get the jab from this mass vaccination hub," Ms Berejiklian said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard thanked the District's Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson and her team for establishing the Centre in a short timeframe.
"It was a bare, empty building. Now it's the headquarters for our fight with this virus. It's been 15 months since the virus came to our shores in NSW and it's been a war ever since.
"We are fighting back and this is now headquarters for the NSW Health team who are backing in the Federal Government's GPs," he said.
State Health Emergency Operations Centre Controller Susan Pearce said there had been a strong response to the Centre.
"It's wonderful to see people outside coming to get their jab. We want people to come forward and get their jab. It's a really important part of our COVID-19 response that as many vaccines are given as possible," she said.
The District's Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson said opening the Centre was an incredible achievement.
"It's an important milestone in our continued effort to protect our community from COVID-19. Our aim is to help vaccinate as many people in our community as possible, to protect them and their loved ones from COVID-19," she said.
The Centre is headed by Medical Lead Dr James Edwards, Nurse Manager Caren Friend, and Operations Manager Lainie Anderson with staff from across NSW Health and other partner organisations joining the team.
Each day, there will be more than 250 staff on site including nurses, clinicians, pharmacists, ICT and administration workers, cultural support workers, interpreters, cleaners and security officers.
The Centre will initially offer the vaccine to people in phase 1a and 1b of the national rollout strategy.
It includes frontline health care staff, border and quarantine workers, aged care and disability care staff and residents and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over and adults with an underlying medical condition or significant disability.
To see when it's your turn to book an appointment, go to covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au, answer a few short questions and select the NSW Health Vaccination Centre at Olympic Park.
The Centre is located at 1 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park and will be open from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday.