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Ford community vaccination site unveiled

Friday, 02 April 2021

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FORD’S former home on North Shore Road, Norlane, has transformed from the centre of Australia’s motor industry into the COVID-19 vaccination hub that will service the majority of the Geelong and Surf Coast region.Ford Hub Opening Web 60

Managed and operated by Barwon Health, Geelong’s community vaccination hub has the capacity to provide vaccines to more than 10,000 people a week.

Barwon Health has worked with Ford Motors site developers Pelligra and local contractors to fit out the site over the past three weeks, including improved disability access, carpeted floors, new bathroom facilities, resurfaced parking, privacy screens, consultation spaces, and general refurbishment.

High-risk priority groups from the 1A and 1B cohorts can receive their vaccination at the site from 6 April, in line with the Commonwealth prioritisation. This includes healthcare staff, including disability workers, and emergency service workers, such as paramedics, police, and fire services.

The site will open to public appointments at a later date, after vaccine supply is sufficient and final details are released to outline the booking process and prioritisation for various groups.

Barwon Health Chief Exeuctive Frances Diver said the community vaccination hub at the site has the potential to vaccinate more than 2000 people a day, depending on stock supply.

"The Ford site has a significant place in the history of the Geelong region, so it is fitting that it will play a vital role as the vaccination hub that will help protect our region from COVID-19.

"Dependent on supply, we anticipate it could take around six months to vaccinate everyone in our region, and we will work with our local healthcare partners to establish other community vaccination hubs and pop-up sites.

"Some of our staff members once worked at this site, some for decades before retraining and beginning careers in healthcare after the Ford closure.

"It’s fitting that some of them are able to join us here today to receive their second Pfizer vaccine and see how much work has been done to turn the old administration building into a state-of-the-art vaccination hub.

"GPs across the region are already playing an important role in the rollout process, and we are working alongside the Primary Health Network as it co-ordinates this part of the vaccination program.

"In the future, the general public will be able to make appointments at the Ford site, but we thank everyone for being patient as we work through the high priority groups identified by the Commonwealth."