The Garran Surge Center is preparing to triple its vaccine administration capacity this week when the first Canberran to receive the dot received their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine this morning (March 15).
Nurses at the center will administer 500 jabs today and 3,500 at the end of the week after Canberra received additional vaccine supplies over the weekend.
Maddy Williams, a nurse at the Surge Center, was the first Canberran to receive the vaccine three weeks ago, saying the jab eased her worries about working on the front line of the pandemic.
Inoculation requires two jabs of the same vaccine – at 21-day intervals for the Pfizer vaccine or between four and 12 weeks for AstraZenecas.
“It makes me feel really relaxed to know that I’m fully immunized, especially when I work in a health environment,” Maddy said.
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“We work in society so there are greater risks. It definitely gives me a sign of relief from being fully immunized.”
She also hoped that the rollout of the other jabs from this week would be another step forward in getting things back to normal.
“I was traveling around Australia in 2020, so I saw the effects of COVID on not just Canberra,” she said.
“It will be excellent when everyone is vaccinated so that travel and tourism can get started again.”
The director of Canberra Health Services and the person in charge of the surge center, Cathie O’Neill, said that the time it takes for people to achieve maximum protection after the second plug is not uniform.
“Everyone will be different when they reach their highest immunity,” she said. “We still have a long way to go in terms of the pandemic, but we are really happy that we are able to move forward with the vaccination program here in Canberra.
“The three weeks went by incredibly fast, but we’re excited to start our second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today.
“This wave center will really rise this week.”
The center is being used as a hub for both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
For more information on the rollout of the vaccine in Canberra, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au/vaccine.