BY: RYAN MALCOLM
PHOTO: Kurt Hickling
HELPING OUT: Qualified pharmacist Kim Ching and staff at South Wangaratta Medical Centre will hope to drive up local vaccination numbers through a Murray PHN-supported outreach program throughout August.
VULNERABLE individuals un- able to access vaccinations are set to benefit from a new out- reach and homebound care mod- el orchestrated by South Wangaratta Medical Centre.
Courtesy of a COVID-19 Vacci- nation of Vulnerable Populations small grant from the Murray Public Health Network (PHN), the local healthcare provider will allow temporary residents, those without a medicare card and those unable to access COVID-19 and flu vaccines to do so throughout August.
A Murray PHN spokesperson said South Wangaratta Medical Centre, led by local vaccine champion Kim Ching, had been quick to reach out for financial support in order to provide vaccines for those left in the lurch following the closure of the Tone Road Vaccination Clinic in June.
“Murray PHN works closely with local health services and primary care providers to understand community needs and service gaps,” the spokesperson said.
“When the local vaccination hub recently closed, we knew that general practices and pharmacies would need to step up to fill the gaps.
“South Wangaratta Medical Centre has previously been successful in engaging communities and delivering vaccination services to people who may not have received this service otherwise.
“Their current grant application stood out because it outlined a collaborative approach to vaccinate priority groups, such as people who are homebound, children with disability and people experiencing homelessness in a safe and supportive environment.”
As of last week, some 76.5 per cent of eligible Wangaratta residents had received more than two doses of a vaccine, with 5723 eligible individuals throughout the region yet to receive their third COVID-19 vaccination.
Some 83.2 per cent of the reg
ion’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) population had received two doses of a vaccine by late-June.
To apply for an outreach vac- cine assessment, contact South Wangaratta Medical Centre on 03 5713 9299.