June 10, 2021

Hello and welcome to your latest Covid Vaccination Hub Bulletin.

Wow, what a job our COVID-19 Vaccination Hub has been doing. Last weekend the Hub celebrated delivering 150,000 vaccines – and we are only just getting started!  A massive 60,000 of these vaccines have occurred in the past 14 days at the Sunshine Hospital and Showgrounds Hubs alone – a stellar job to all involved at the coalface and behind the scenes!

Western Health as the COVID-19 Vaccination Hub for the western metropolitan region has already established a number of high-volume vaccination sites including Sunshine Hospital, the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (operated by RMH) and the Melbourne Showgrounds. Additional high volume vaccination centres will be opened soon at Melton and Werribee.  As soon as we have more details, we will share them with you.

This bulletin includes some important information on the recent RANZCOG and ATAGI recommendation for all pregnant women to be routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy.   In addition to this, an important recommendation from ATAGI this week has also been issued and relates to the timing of administering the influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.  The preferred minimum interval between a dose of influenza vaccine and either Pfizer/BioNTech (Cominarty) vaccine of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is now 7 days (previously 14 days).  You can read more about these important changes to recommendations below.

Commencing Monday 14th June, the Sunshine Hospital Vaccination Hub will return to ‘normal’ operating hours as follows:

  • Monday – Wednesday 0800 – 1630 hours
  • Thursday – Friday 0800 – 2030 hours
  • Saturday – Sunday 0800 – 1630 hours

The Hub will continue to run at full capacity, with 60 cubicles operating daily.  Priority lines will continue during all hours of operation. Staff just need to turn up to the Sunshine Hospital Vaccination Hub ‘bookings queue’ with their staff ID during opening hours and they will be prioritised.

Western Health’s community facing vaccination information site continues to attract visitors, with nearly 30,000 people visiting the site over the past 14 days. 19% percent of these visitors have accessed the site at least twice. The site can be found at: and has information that is easy to read and in different languages for our community. We urge you to share this link with friends and families.

Additional things that you as an individual can do to play your part to get the #jabdone include:

  • if you have yet to be vaccinated, get vaccinated now! There is a lot of old and unreliable information out there regarding the safety of the vaccine – please make sure you are informed.
  • please ensure that you have your second dose of vaccine. You are not optimally protected against COVID-19 without 2 doses. Please do not delay. For AstraZeneca vaccine you can get your second dose any time from 8 weeks onwards. For Pfizer get your second dose at 3 weeks.

Check out the COVID-19 Vaccination microsite to keep up to date with everything relating to the COVID-19 vaccination.


Shane Crowe
Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery


Vaccination and Pregnancy

In a joint statement published on 9 June RANZCOG and ATAGI recommend that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby.

Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy. Furthermore, there is also evidence of antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity.

Pregnant women are encouraged to discuss the decision in relation to timing of vaccination with their health professional.

Women who are trying to become pregnant should not delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.


New Graduate Program in the Vaccination Hub

Administering the COVID-19 vaccine is a workforce intensive exercise, with hundreds of additional nurses needed to deliver this program across our region. In preparation for this significant undertaking active recruitment by Western Health has attracted over 250 newly graduated nurses to be part of this team, who were unfortunately unable to secure a place in a graduate program.

Western Health has collaborated with other hospitals in the West Metro Health Service Partnership to run an additional 1-year Graduate Program for these nurses. The participants will work in a vaccination centre for part of the program and will rotate into other clinical areas. There will be rotations available across most of the hospitals in the region. This will facilitate the employment of as many graduate and early career nurses as possible and give these nurses a formal graduate program to ensure that they are supported to successfully transition into the profession and optimise chances of ongoing employment.

Additional clinical nurse educators will be employed to support the delivery of this program across the West Metro Region.

Please note staff will require a WH email address to apply.  Click this link to commence your application 


Flu Vax 2021 Campaign

More than 4,500 Flu vaccines have been administered to WH staff thus far since the 2021 Flu Vax campaign was launched in early May.  This year we are aiming for 94% of all staff to be vaccinated. Click here for more information on the importance of the influenza campaign.

ATAGI now recommend the preferred minimum internal between a dose of influenza vaccine and either Pfizer/BioNTech (Cominarty) vaccine of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 7 days (previously 14 days).  This change in recommended timing will ensure our most vulnerable are protected at this time.  You can read the recommendations in more detail here.