COVID Vaccination Hub Bulletin – 22 Feb 2021

February 22, 2021


Today Western Health helped make history.

Our team at our airport based vaccination hub planned, supported and delivered some of the first vaccinations in the state and indeed, the first vaccinations for staff at Melbourne Airport. Some of our vaccination staff were also among the first to be vaccinated.

About 150 vaccinations are expected to be administered at the site today. Initially 10 staff were vaccinated and then the hub was opened to airport staff from 10.30am.

Pharmacist Samira Hamidi prepared the first vaccines.

One of our fantastic ICU nurses who is currently part of the vaccination team, Laloma Carstens, was the first person to be vaccinated by Western Health at the Melbourne Airport hub, at 9.08am.

Infection Control lead Richard Bartolo gave Laloma the vaccination.

This first vaccination was the culmination of exceptional work by dozens of staff led by project lead Lisa Smith, supported by the Nurse Unit Manager for the airport hub, Kylie Roper and her colleague Donald Johnson, who will soon lead the Sunshine hub, with oversight and executive leadership by Shane Crowe.

Pharmacy have been of critical importance in the safe and effective rollout of this vaccine.

Laloma was thrilled to have the honour of being the first vaccinated through the work of her Western Health colleagues.

“It was awesome,” she said.

“Now I’m feeling relieved and reassured that more people will be able to be vaccinated.

“I saw a lot of COVID patients last year and it was really stressful for staff and of course for the families.

“Today I’m feeling reassured that we will be able to get back to a more normal way of life after the first and second waves.”

As our Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery, Shane Crowe said, “this is a day that staff will be able to tell their grandchildren about. 2020 was a really challenging year for everyone and today is the start of our recovery.”

I would like to express my pride and extend my sincere thanks to the hundreds of project team members, engineering, workforce recruitment and people and culture teams, the infection prevention and infectious diseases teams, medical and nursing teams, IT and public affairs – everyone has played their part in making this happen.

For those who would like a sneak peek into the hub, click on the image below to see  video walk through prepared by our teams on the weekend ahead of the today’s commencement.


Once again a huge thanks to all – stay safe and more information will continue to follow on vaccinations.