NEW data reveals that less than half of South Australian people aged over 50 years still haven’t received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
The timely figures fall as Mid North residents woke this morning to statewide changes in response to the seven-day lockdown imposed from the Delta strain outbreak in the northern suburbs.
The outcome sparked tough measures from 6pm on Tuesday which now affect all schools and day care with closures in place, events postponed or cancelled, such as the Balaklava Eisteddfod, and sports codes across the region cancelling competitions.
Only essential shops and businesses such as supermarkets, chemists and doctor surgeries remain open.
The tighter rules hit after three more community transmitted virus cases were reported in SA yesterday.
They are linked to the 81-year old man and his daughter who both tested positive for the strain and had both spent time in their community.
One new case is a diner at The Greek on Halifax where the family had visited.
Chief public officer Professor Nicola Spurrier revealed that genomic testing had confirmed the highly infectious Delta strain with the new site added to the long list of exposure areas.
She said the virus has the potential to be a “super spreader event”.
In response, SA authorities promoted the importance of all residents to stay at home and to continue to get tested and to become vaccinated.
Premier Steven Marshall who referred to the virus as “quick moving”, said “we do believe we have got this [virus] early … it is only going to happen with the cooperation [of the public].”
In support, the 20 SA regional chemist outlets earmarked to roll out COVID-19 jabs began administering the vaccine on Monday.
Mid North pharmacist Tim Siv and his team at Terry White Chemmart Clare were among the cohort to deliver the vaccine to residents.
The site will continue to remain open to the public.
Tim said during this early stage, he can administer the vaccine to adults 60 years and over.
“Customers are welcome to ring and book an appointment,” Tim told the Plains Producer.
“It can be someone’s first or second dose of the vaccine.
“We are here to help chip away at the vaccine rate and assist the medical centres and clinics roll this vaccine out,” Tim added.
By Monday afternoon, the pharmacist had administered 10 vaccines to members of the community, and continued to welcome anyone eligible to take up the opportunity.
Wakefield Plains Medical Centre reminds the public they are an essential service and also will keep their doors open.
A spokesperson told the Plains Producer, their phone lines had been busy since the lockdown was unveiled.
She said masks are mandatory.
“We have received a lot of questions about whether the COVID-19 clinics will remain open and yes, you can still become vaccinated,” the spokesperson said.
However, data shared by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia SA branch shows that 43 per cent of Australians over the age of 50 years still haven’t had their first dose of the vaccine.
Branch president Robyn Johns said local pharmacists can target at-risk Australians, including those in the Mid North.
“Particularly the elderly who may be hesitant to commute to or queue at these hubs for extended periods of time.
“We already have a skilled, trusted, experienced, and easily accessible vaccinator workforce at governments’ disposal – so we must activate them now!” Robyn added.
PSA is dedicated to supporting pharmacists in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine both safely and effectively to the public, and pharmacists are on standby to support the strategy.