Landmark day as Peninsula Health’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout gets underway

Peninsula Health registered nurse Vanessa Nolan receives her vaccine from immunisation coordinator Jody Logan. Picture: Supplied.

The coronavirus vaccine rollout is underway at Peninsula Health, with eligible frontline staff members receiving their first dose today at the newly created staff vaccination clinic.

Patient Services Assistant Louise Thoms, Clinical Director of Emergency Dr Jonathan Dowling, Registered Nurse Vanessa Nolan and Senior Pharmacist for Critical Care and Surgery Iouri Banakh, who works in our Intensive Care Unit, were the first four staff members to receive the vaccine at the Frankston Hospital based clinic.

“It went absolutely fine, barely felt a thing,” says Vanessa.

“It was a really simple and seamless process. I sat in the chair, signed a consent form, got the vaccination, sat down for about 15 minutes or so and then back off to work.”

Vanessa has spent the past year working on Bass Ward at Frankston Hospital, dedicated to caring for confirmed or suspected Covid-19 positive patients.

“I’ve seen the effects of the virus on people and their families,” she says.

“I’m just doing my part to get vaccinated, not just to protect myself and my family from infection, but everyone else in the entire community.”

“Every vaccine that is received brings us that further step closer towards curbing the spread of the virus in our community.” 

She will now get her second dose of the vaccine in three weeks time.

The Peninsula Health Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic opened at John Madder Hall on March 3 2021. Picture: Supplied.

Acting Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine Dr Jonathon Dowling was pleased to get his vaccine today.

“I’d like to reassure everyone that it’s safe, that it’s easy,” says Dr Dowling.

“We want to have as many of our staff vaccinated as possible, particularly in the high risk settings so we can continue to care for people as they present.”

“Many of my colleagues have seen first-hand the effects of COVID-19 on our patients as they have come through, so I think that’s driving a lot of the interest in the vaccine from our teams as we start taking those steps towards a post COVID world.”

Peninsula Health chief executive Felicity Topp watches as the first vaccine doses are delivered to John Madder Hall. Picture: Supplied.

Chief executive Felicity Topp joined staff for the milestone at the newly opened staff vaccination clinic at John Madder Hall, the same building where Peninsula Health commenced Covid-19 testing of the community almost a year ago.

A team of about 15 staff members are based at the clinic, who will deliver doses to more than 100 staff members a day. 

A trained immunisation nurse is permanently on site and can administer adrenaline should a person encounter an adverse reaction. Every person who receives an injection remains on site for 15 minutes for observation. 

Peninsula Health Acting Executive Director of Medical Services, Dr Shyaman Menon, says today is a really good day for Peninsula Health.

“We are pleased to be able to provide some of our frontline workers – doctors, nurses and support services staff – their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” says Dr Menon.  As we continue to respond to the pandemic, this is an important step to help keep our people safe and well, and enable them to continue to provide the best care for our community.”

“Congratulations to our multidisciplinary team here at Peninsula Health for all their tremendous work getting our Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic ready, in particular the Infection Prevention and Control Unit and Pharmacy.”

The Peninsula Health Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic is currently for frontline workers in phase 1a in the vaccination rollout. To find out what phase you are in use the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Calculator

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine visit the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website.