Springwood among first locations to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Aged care residents in Springwood will be among the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow (Tuesday, February 23).

Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman said she has been briefed on the rollout, with the Blue Mountains among the first locations to receive the much-anticipated jab.

"It's planned that from Tuesday, the vaccine will be administered locally to residents of aged care facilities. Seven aged care homes in the region will receive it first, starting in Springwood," she said.

"Over coming weeks, the program will be extended throughout the Blue Mountains to all residential aged care facilities, to both residents and staff."

People who work at Katoomba, Springwood and Nepean hospitals will also start receiving a vaccine.

"This will be coordinated by their workplace, and they will travel to Westmead to be vaccinated," said Ms Templeman.

"In time, the local health authorities expect the vaccine to be available through GPs. Details are yet to be finalised."

Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle said she was also "pleased to learn that the Coronavirus vaccine is to be rolled out to priority groups locally".

"COVID has been really tough for so many and if this news offers hope, that is a relief for our community and others. I do hope however that this rollout will very soon be extended to others who are at risk or vulnerable, such as elderly folk who don't reside in aged care facilities. They should also be considered a priority," she said.

"Despite these latest announcements, we still can't afford to become complacent. We all want to get the COVID response right and, especially since the community has worked so hard to do the right thing throughout the pandemic, we need to be sure that the public awareness campaign around the vaccine roll out is thorough and clear.

"Whilst we're not at a point where the vaccine will be available to all, it would appear to be the direction in which we're heading. I know that we all look forward to a time when we can feel safe and protected from this virus."

Federal health minister Greg Hunt announced on Friday the schedule of 190 towns and suburbs where the first aged care residents will receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Minister Hunt said the staged approach to the rollout would ensure those who need the most protection get it first.

"Our frontline border and quarantine workers, and people living and working in residential aged and disability care facilities will be the first to receive their vaccines," he said.

"The vaccination program will save and protect lives. Both of our vaccines will prevent serious illness. That is our primary goal."

For more information about the priority groups and the national rollout strategy, go to - https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/getting-vaccinated-for-covid-19/when-will-i-get-a-covid-19-vaccine