Wimmera children attending McLachlan Street Vaccination Clinic for their first round of COVID vaccine, will wander into an enchanted forest of colour and fun.

Grampians Health team members from the Horsham campus have been busy decorating the clinic to make it more inviting for the new targeted age group for vaccine rollout. Rollout coordinator for the Grampians Genevieve Lilley said clinic nurses started vaccinating children this week.

“We have taken a lot of bookings in the past week or two and when we open bookings they are filling quickly so there could be a one week wait,” Ms Lilley said.

“We are doing our best to provide as many immunisers as possible to meet the demand for vaccines and we hope that staffing will become less of an issue in the coming weeks.”

Ms Lilley said the clinic was prioritising giving first dose vaccines to 5-12 year old children but was also focused on health workers.

“We need to ensure all health workers have received their booster shot before the deadline and that includes those from other services,” she said.

“We are hoping we can eventually set up clinics at the schools but that needs Department approval first.

“We also have commitments to a few town visits to administer booster shots.”

Meanwhile COVID testing numbers at the hospital clinic are steadying after a record month in December. Team members swabbed 3005 people for the month including 226 on Boxing Day. The numbers almost doubled the previous highest month and vindicated the decision to return to a drive-through clinic.

Director of Clinical Improvement, Risk and Innovation Sally Taylor said recent numbers were averaging in the low 60s after the year began in the 100s.

“The recent changes to testing rules have certainly helped ease the pressure on our testers but we expect the clinic will continue to be busy,” Mrs Taylor said.


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