ANDREW MILLER: And to you and the listeners, Russell, good morning.
RUSSELL WOOLF: How can the public book in for the jab?
ANDREW MILLER: Go to health.gov.au and look for the Vaccine Eligibility Checker. It’s a simple process to use. You just answer a few questions and it will then lead you to the booking page from there.
RUSSELL WOOLF: So can you remind us who is eligible to get vaccinated today?
ANDREW MILLER: So this is adding on to the 1B rollout now, so we’re looking at the remainder of all healthcare workers plus people over the age of 70, and then people with specific medical conditions, which it will ask you about on the site. But it is a big group of people. If you’re unsure about have a look at the website or speak to your GP.
RUSSELL WOOLF: Well, we know Europe’s medicines watchdog say the benefits of AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks, despite several countries halting its use due to concerns about blood clots. What’s your message to West Australians?
ANDREW MILLER: Well, we can have confidence in the system. They are looking at this on an hourly basis at the moment and if you’ve got a history of blood clots or those sort of issues then certainly that’s something you talk to your doctor about before being vaccinated with any of the vaccines at the moment. But we haven’t had the pause put on yet, and there’s no problem going ahead and getting a booking and talking to your doctor about those issues if you think that might concern you specifically. But the number of people who have had these problems is very, very low compared to the number who have been vaccinated and that’s what happens in the general population as well.
RUSSELL WOOLF: It’s 14 past 7. Dr Andrew Miller, President of the WA branch of the AMA is with us this morning. From today you can go online to check if you’re able to be vaccinated with this vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine. Have you by chance been vaccinated, Dr Miller?
ANDREW MILLER: I’ve had my first dose of one of the vaccines and as part of the people who might have to respond if there’s lots of very sick people in Perth, I was in the in the 1A section but there’s…
RUSSELL WOOLF: How was it for you, just out of interest?
ANDREW MILLER: Oh, great experience, very easy, very well run by the State, I have to say. What we’re really anxious about now is just getting the numbers of people who have been vaccinated up and up and up because while we’re enjoying a period of COVID-free time because of our border controls, we never know when our hotel problems are going to re-emerge, as they’re doing on the east coast at the moment. We’ve been lucky to keep things under control but, gee, if we can just over the next few months – between now and October – certainly get everyone getting their first dose, then that’s going to really put us on the road to recovery from all of this.
RUSSELL WOOLF: I wonder if you know the answer to when the next group will be allowed to get their vaccines?
ANDREW MILLER: Hopefully fairly soon, I think. What we’re finding is that there’s a combination of just the supply, getting the supply available and tweaking that right. You need to get the vaccine into the practice and you need to get the people into the practice at the same time. Now GPs are brilliant and they’re really set up and ready to go on this and they really need the Government to come to the party with prime in the pump with lots of vaccine and, of course, everyone’s a bit frustrated and saying we’re late here. So we really want people to pay attention to this, to get registered, to get an appointment, and to be patient with the process because it’s going to be incredibly important then to encourage the whole population, at this stage 16 and over, so we can get them all vaccinated quick, so we can then move on to the kids, hopefully before the end of the year.
RUSSELL WOOLF: Andrew, great to talk to you, thanks for your time today.
ANDREW MILLER: Thank you.
RUSSELL WOOLF: Dr Andrew Miller, the President of the WA branch of the AMA.