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Aussie doctors ill-equipped for next stage of COVID vaccine rollout: medical bodies

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:58, March 16, 2021

CANBERRA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Leading medical groups have warned that Australia is ill-equipped for the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) recently said it was a "mystery" why the government has not launched an online booking system for COVID-19 vaccines.

Karen Price, the president of the RACGP, said that opening the booking system as soon as possible was important to give elderly Australians time to familiarize themselves with it.

"You can imagine some people are going to find it hard to navigate," she said, according to The Guardian Australia on Tuesday.

"Patients are wanting that booking system to be up."

"Receptionists are already getting overwhelmed with these calls."

Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout, which covers more than 6 million Australians, is set to begin on March 22 with more than 1,000 GP clinics across the country enlisted to administer doses.

However, the AMA and RACGP said that some clinics had not yet been told how many vaccine doses they would receive.

Chris Moy, the vice-president of the AMA, said that even if the booking service was launched, "it wouldn't be possible" for most practices to take bookings now.

"Practices only found out last week how many vaccines they'll get but some haven't been given the numbers they're getting," he said.

"There's got to be a period of us finding our feet on this."

As of Monday approximately 165,000 doses of vaccines had been administered in Australia.

There had been 29,130 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia as of Monday afternoon, and the numbers of locally and overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours were one and 13 respectively, according to the latest figures updated on Monday evening from the Department of Health.

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