GENERAL practitioners in Bathurst are now able to vaccinate residents against COVID-19.
On Monday, Loxley House Family Practice’s Dr Vidya Murugiah administered the facility’s first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to Stuart Simmons.
The 72-year-old said he felt a responsibility to get the vaccine now that it is available and he is eligible.
“I think it’s our community responsibility,” he said.
He was in good spirits after getting the vaccine and assured that he didn’t feel any pain at all.
“It was over before I realised. There’s no bravado there; I didn’t feel it honestly. It was either very, very small or very, very sharp – I don’t know – but it was fine,” he said.
Mr Simmons was monitored after his shot to make sure he didn’t experience any adverse effects from the vaccine.
Loxley House will be aiming to vaccinate 80 people this week, as that is the number of doses that have been received, and will increase the number of vaccinations as the weeks progress.
The practice is one of four in Bathurst that are able to start vaccinating people this week, with Westpoint Medical Practice, Kelso Medical Centre and the Bathurst Respiratory Clinic also on the list.
Dr Vidya said Loxley House’s nurses will be “the main people running the show”, but it will be a team effort to get as many eligible people as possible screened and then vaccinated.
She is excited the rollout has arrived, knowing it is the best chance Australians have of returning to their normal lives.
“I’m pro-vaccine and I’m very happy about this,” she said. “I think we want to go back to normal, right?”
Medical professionals have been given training to administer the vaccine and at this stage they see no reason for people to be concerned about getting it.
“So far, to our knowledge and all the training we have received, there’s nothing to be alarmed about,” Dr Vidya said.
Mr Simmons, who will need to have a second dose in around 12 weeks, encouraged everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine.
“I think it’s their responsibility to their community to get it done. We’ve got to look after each other,” he said.
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