THE vaccination rollout for residents and staff at eight age care facilities across Port Macquarie-Hastings has been delayed.
The news came after a major announcement earlier in the week by Healthy North Coast that 130 Garden Village residents would be among those to have the option to be vaccinated from this Saturday, February 27, alongside aged care staff.
Grace Symons, 100, who celebrated her milestone birthday and received a letter from the Queen, was to be one of the first to receive the jab.
The first Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations are to be rolled out across 15 residential aged care facilities - seven in Ballina/Alstonville and eight in Port Macquarie.
These locations were chosen as first priority regional areas because of the higher proportion of residents aged over 65 years.
Read more: Virus vaccine safety paramount: Morrison
"In discussions on Friday (February 26) with Healthcare Australia, we have learned that due to scheduling issues and logistical challenges, the delivery of vaccinations to some North Coast RACFs has been reviewed and is being rescheduled," Healthy North Coast CEO Julie Sturgess said.
Read more: Calls for calm after virus vaccine bungle
There was a suggestion vaccines had arrived on the Mid North Coast but could not be administered due to a lack of syringes.
"Healthcare Australia has advised it has made internal resourcing changes to ensure it can deliver the vaccination program safely and efficiently," Ms Sturgess said.
"We are expecting Healthcare Australia to later today (Friday) confirm with local RACFs which of them will receive vaccinations this weekend.
"It is not correct that vaccines are being delivered to RACFs without syringes. We are, however, aware there was a short gap between the delivery of vaccines and syringes at one facility, but this did not affect the safe delivery of the vaccine to residents."
It has established a Vaccine Operations Centre to support RACFs with any issues they may have about vaccines.
Ms Sturgess said Healthy North Coast will also continue to liaise with local RACFs to help share communications about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations on the North Coast.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has defended the slow start to the vaccine rollout program in aged care centres, saying extra checks and balances put in place since the overdose of two elderly residents in Brisbane were causing the delays.
The government promised 240 aged care centres would receive vaccinations this week, but so far just 71 have been part of the rollout.
What else is making news?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: