MIL-OSI Australia: Equity to Access vaccination program to close but specialist services still available


Source: Government of Australia Capital Territory

Released 27/06/2022

An ACT Government program that provided thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations to vulnerable Canberrans will close on 30 June after contributing to our nation-leading vaccination rates.

The ACT Equity to Access program helped people get vaccinated who faced high COVID‑19 health risks and/or significant barriers accessing mainstream health services.

It offered in-home vaccinations, in-reach vaccinations through community organisations and partners, and pop-up vaccination clinics across Canberra.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said that demand had dropped and the service was no longer needed.

“While our mass vaccination clinics, GPs and pharmacies completed hundreds of thousands of vaccinations, we knew that these options did not suit everyone,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Some people may have had difficulties leaving their homes, faced significant transport or online booking difficulties, or had a negative experience accessing mainstream healthcare.

“Everyone has the right to a COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of their circumstances. The Equity to Access program provided a culturally safe, convenient and accessible service.”

Since September 2021, the program has administered 3,189 vaccinations across 47 pop-up vaccination clinics, 70 in-reach clinics and 149 in-home visits (at 22 June 2022).

“There are still a range of options for people who face barriers getting a vaccination through their GP or pharmacy,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“These include the ACT Government’s Access and Sensory Clinic for people with disability or sensory needs, the specialist vaccination clinic at The Canberra Hospital for people with severe needle phobia, or via specialised services for people who are unable to leave their home.

“People in these cohorts should contact the COVID-19 vaccine booking team on 5124 7700 to see what type of vaccination setting is best for them.”

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– Statement ends –

Section: Rachel Stephen-Smith, MLA | Media Releases

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