BATHURST'S frontline healthcare workers will begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from next Tuesday as part of a rollout across the western region.
Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan said the region's most at-risk groups would receive the vaccine first.
"Phase 1a includes healthcare workers who work in areas such as emergency departments and intensive care units," Mr McLachlan said.
"It also includes aged care residents, including those living in our multipurpose service (MPS) facilities. Phase 1b includes all other healthcare workers.
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"For our healthcare workers, we will have fixed clinics in Orange and Dubbo taking bookings from March 22 with the Bathurst clinic opening the following day [Tuesday, March 23]."
Mr McLachlan said two mobile clinics would be in operation from Monday, March 22, visiting smaller health facilities across the health district over coming weeks.
"The vaccination requires two injections at least 12 weeks apart so those clinics will be booking staff in for both their appointments," he said.
"Our clinics will be providing the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Both the current vaccines are very effective and Oxford/AstraZeneca offers advantages for our district given the challenges of distance.
"I would encourage people to use the Australian Government's online eligibility checker to see when and how they can access vaccination."
News of the vaccine's imminent arrival comes as Bathurst approaches the first anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the city.
Western NSW LHD confirmed on March 19 last year that Bathurst's first COVID cases was a man aged in his 30s who was in home isolation.
In total, the Bathurst region has had just nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 with no active cases in the city since April 23, 2020.
"This [the vaccine rollout] is a really exciting development," Mr McLachlan said.
"Our staff and our communities have been incredible in taking action to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and we all want the vaccination program to be a success.
"We're fortunate to have the vaccine available and it will be a relief for our healthcare workers to have this extra layer of protection."
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