WNSWLHD: Don't wait, book your vaccination booster appointment now

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is urging everyone in the region to book an appointment for their booster as soon as possible, with demand expected to increase as the approved interval from the second dose of COVID-19 vaccination reduces to three months.

Mark Spittal, WNSWLHD Chief Executive, said the reduced interval means that most people who received their vaccinations at a WNSWLHD clinic supported by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will be eligible for their booster as of Friday 21 January.

"The last of those joint clinics was held on October 29 last year, so as of late next week everyone who received their vaccinations at those clinics will then be eligible to receive their booster," Mr Spittal said.

"We expect demand for appointments to increase as a result of that, however our vaccination hubs in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo do have booster appointments available.

"Recently, those clinics have had about 50 per cent of booster appointments available day-to-day but with demand expected to increase, we strongly recommend people book an appointment as soon as possible.

"For smaller areas of the District we also have a number of mobile community clinics booked in over the next few weeks, which are advertised on the WNSWLHD website and social media so please keep an eye on those platforms."

Mr Spittal also encouraged parents to book their children in to be vaccinated as soon as possible as demand for appointments for the 5-11 years ago group remains high across the region.

"Our hub clinics were booked out for children's vaccinations through until February 4 but we have increased the capacity of those clinics next week to get more children vaccinated before school returns later this month," Mr Spittal said.

"We will triple the number of appointments available for children aged 5-11 at each of the hubs in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange every day next week and parents are now able to make a booking for their child to secure one of these extra appointments. Our mobile clinics are also offering children's vaccinations along with boosters too.

"Remember, WNSWLHD hubs and clinics are not the only places to receive a vaccination or booster. In fact, we play a smaller role in the wider vaccination roll-out and the majority of vaccinations are delivered through GPs, pharmacies and the primary care network.

"So if you can't find an appointment for yourself or your child through one of our clinics, please try to book one through a GP or pharmacist as soon as you possibly can.

"Vaccination remains the best protection we have against serious illness from COVID-19 and it is also the best tool we have as individuals to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our entire community.

"Vaccination is the most important way we can be COVID-safe, but we also encourage everyone to continue with the regular behaviours we've become so familiar with to stay safe all the time.

"Wash and sanitise your hands regularly, check in using QR codes everywhere you go, wear your mask wherever required and if you can't socially distance and make sure you have a 'Plan C' ready in case you or a household member is required to isolate."

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination and to book an appointment visit the Federal Government's COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.