02 September 2021

More than 10 million COVID-19 vaccines delivered by general practice

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is congratulating general practices for delivering over 10 million COVID-19 vaccines – more than half the national total.

RACGP President Dr Karen Price said that GPs, nurses, receptionists, and administrative workers should hold their heads high.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but practices have quietly gone about their business and delivered in excess of 10 million jabs,” she said.

“This is an incredible achievement; you are the backbone of the nation’s vaccine rollout. GPs are not known for drawing attention to themselves, we go about our jobs without much fanfare. Because of this, I believe practices have not received enough recognition for delivering so many vaccines amidst a troubled vaccine rollout.

“In time, I hope that GPs receive the plaudits they deserve because the scale of the task is enormous.”

The RACGP President said it was no surprise practices had done such an outstanding job.

“Patients know and trust their GP and it is only natural that they want to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at their local practice,” she said.

“We are adept at addressing patient concerns, answering questions and talking through why getting vaccinated is so important. GPs are drawing on a skill set that they use every day, including for other vaccines such as the influenza vaccine.

“GPs are also valuable in engaging communities, particularly those of us who work with culturally and linguistically diverse patients and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Because we are located in almost every community, general practice is a ready-made mass vaccination service.”

Dr Price once again urged patients to treat practice staff with respect.

“Unfortunately, some patients continue to take out their frustrations on receptionists who are simply doing their job in very trying circumstances,” she said.

“The vaccine rollout has been subject to numerous changes, particularly to eligibility requirements, and practices have done a great job adapting and providing updated information to patients.

“Many practices have received complaints from patients wanting one vaccine over another. Please remember, if you are aged 60 and over - you are eligible to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine, rather than the Pfizer vaccine, from your GP.

“The chance of you developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS, after receiving an AstraZeneca vaccine is extremely small and the odds of suffering severe effects from COVID-19 are far higher. So, if a receptionist, nurse or GP provides advice on this point, please don’t take out your frustrations on them.

“To all patients I remind them that if you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccine – please do so right away. You can join the millions of people who have already rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated and help protect the broader community.”

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John Ronan

Senior Media Advisor