March 25, 2021

Welcome to your latest COVID-19 Vaccination Hub Bulletin.

I have had my first dose of the vaccine, and I was so proud of what I experienced. I was vaccinated by a delightful young nurse who is a new graduate. She ensured that any risks had been identified, explained the vaccine to me, explained the process, obtained my consent and then expertly (and gently!) administered the injection. I was told about post-vaccination care, given information and stickers (we all love them!). She is one of hundreds of new nurses we have recently employed to meet the significant challenge of vaccinating Melbourne’s west. This team is professional, friendly, competent, efficient and shares their expertise. We are in good hands!

We opened up more bookings last weekend at the Sunshine Hospital hub to facilitate drop-in sessions for all 1a and 1b staff across the western region and had an overwhelming response with over 1000 staff attending!  A big thanks to all WH hub staff and those from our partner agencies who facilitated this at short notice.  I am pleased to advise we will continue with this option for staff when demand remains this high.

As of yesterday evening the Vaccination Hubs supporting the western region have administered 17,330 vaccinations in just 4 weeks, which is remarkable and testament to our hub staff, our partner agencies and our 1a and 1b workforce who are working to get the #jabdone.

We have been receiving an increase in community inquiries about their eligibility for the vaccine.  At this point in time, GP’s are the only access for our community.  We are currently working with a number of partner agencies to progress the Western Metropolitian COVID-19 Community Vaccination Strategy and will keep you informed as this progresses.

A reminder to all staff that the Vaccination Hub has a phone and email hotline for advice pre and post vaccination. Email or call 0478 908 412 (0800 – 1630 – 7 days a week). For Werribee Mercy staff email or call 03 8754 3531.


Shane Crowe
Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery


Booking in for your vaccine

Transition to a new COVID-19 Vaccination Hub booking system has progressed but is still a little way off.

In preparation for this, we are encouraging all 1a and 1b staff who need to book in for their vaccination to continue to use the current system as there are still appointments available.

Please click here to book your COVID vaccination at either the Sunshine Hospital or Werribee Hub.

To be prepared for your vaccination visit, please visit the Sunshine Hospital Vaccination Hub page, which includes a map and an information sheet about the vaccination process.


Vaccine doses required and potential side effects

For vaccinations to be effective, all COVID-19 vaccines being administered through the Vaccination Hub require a two-dose regime.

The second dose of Pfizer vaccine should be given 3-6 weeks after the first dose. The second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be given 4-12 weeks after the first dose; 12 weeks is preferred.

You will receive an invitation and reminder to book in for your second dose.

Following vaccination, you may experience temporary side effects typical of vaccines, such as pain or redness at the injection site, mild to moderate fever, tiredness, headache, muscle aches and chills.

For the Pfizer vaccine these side effects may be more common after the second dose, however for the AstraZeneca vaccine these side effects may be more common after the first dose.

Refer to the following document for further information: Post COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for Healthcare Workers.


News and Updates on AstraZeneca

We encourage you and your colleagues to stay informed on the latest AstraZeneca news and advice through this link which is updated regularly.

The latest advice from ATAGI emphasises that whilst the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines far outweigh potential risk, vaccination should be deferred for people who have a history of 2 types of rare clotting conditions, whilst further studies are undertaken.  This is until further information from ongoing investigations in Europe is available and is only a precautionary measure.  Read more here.

There is an interesting report found here that factually summarises COVID-19 vaccines efficacy and effectiveness which may also be of interest.

On 21 March, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved manufacture of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) in Australia. This follows on from the 16 February 2021 approval by TGA of the overseas-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine.

This approval is a critical and very exciting milestone in Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click here or on the image to view a short, useful video on the TGA vaccine approval process.



Top 3 Questions

The Commonwealth Department of Health has been releasing a short video each week on the ‘top 3 questions’ about COVID-19 Vaccination identified through social accounts.

In this week’s video, Professor Michael Kidd answers the following questions:

  1. Why should I have the vaccine when I am fit and healthy?
  2. Is it safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccines if I am undergoing cancer treatment?
  3. Should I still get tested if I feel unwell after receiving the COVID-19 vaccines?

Click here to view the video and/or the transcript of the video.

Answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 Vaccination raised by our own staff can be sourced in the FAQs section of the Vaccination site.