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Vaccine boost for Geelong aged care

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Roz Welsh

THE region’s first public sector aged care residents and staff rolled up their sleeves to receive the COVID-19 vaccine today.

The vaccine rollout, which began with Geelong’s frontline healthcare staff and port workers yesterday, has expanded to public sector aged care, beginning with Barwon Health’s Alan David Lodge at Charlemont.

The Barwon South West Public Health Unit’s vaccination outreach team will also visit the McKellar Centre this week, before extending phase 1a of the Pfizer program to the rest of the region.

Alan David Lodge resident Roz Welsh said even her fear of needles couldn’t get in the way of receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

“I’ve been a bit nervous, but I know I just have to do it because it’s something that might help others,” she said.

“I’ve been worried about spreading it, so I’ve been thinking ‘the sooner I have the vaccine the better’. I would never be able to forgive myself if I had the virus and spread it to my friends, so I just have to do it.

“It’s really good that aged care is getting done so soon, and there’s so much research to say that it’s safe.”

Alan David Lodge associate nurse unit manager Jane Byworth said staff were enthusiastic about receiving the first of two Pfizer jabs, viewing it as an important step forward after a challenging year for staff and residents in aged care.

“I’m excited to be vaccinated because I feel like this is really doing something to help residents and my family,” she said.

“I’ve got a 14-year-old at home and it’s really good knowing she’ll have some extra protection once I’ve had the vaccine,” she said.

“It’s been a tough year for our residents, being isolated for so long, and also for our staff to be so vigilant in taking all the steps to protect them.

“It’s reassuring to know millions of people worldwide have already had the vaccine with little or no side effects.”