COVID Vaccination Clinic opens at RAH

A Central Adelaide frontline healthcare worker is the one of the first South Australians receiving the Pfizer vaccination at the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s COVID Vaccination Clinic.

Nurse Unit Manager Annabel Thomas has played multiple roles in the COVID-19 frontline response for the past year including caring for COVID-positive patients at the RAH, working in a medi-hotel, and was part of the South Australian team assisting the Victorian response.

“I was very excited to get the vaccine, I think it’s a fantastic opportunity and privilege to be some of the first in South Australia and Australia (to get the vaccine),” Annabel said.

“If we look at what we can achieve as a global community when we all have a shared goal, this is the fruits of our labour.”

Frontline healthcare and border workers receive a ‘Thank You’ card as they get their COVID vaccine.

Annabel rolled up her sleeve for the vaccine on Monday morning alongside Premier Steven Marshall, Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, hotel quarantine roving police supervisor Sergeant Amanda Kuchel and medi-hotel security guard Anthony Ward.

Frontline quarantine workers and Central Adelaide clinical staff will be the first people to receive the vaccine at the state-of-the-art clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital from Monday. About 3000 people are expected to receive the COVID vaccine in the first week.

COVID Vaccination Program Nurse Lead Ben Cahill has been part of a team setting up the clinic and administering the first vaccines.

About 100 nurses, clinicians, pharmacists and administrative staff have been recruited and trained to run the clinic up and assist in the vaccination rollout in SA.

“We set up our stations and we completed the first of the vaccination program with seven people all having their vaccines without any issues,” Ben said.

“There has been so much work in last four or five weeks. So today is the accumulation of all those weeks of hard work so we’re really happy to get up and going now.”

RAH ED Nurse Lead Skye Donoghue was one of the first CALHN staff to receive the Pfizer vaccine on Monday.

On Monday morning, Ben and SA Pharmacy staff prepared the vaccines and managed to extract six doses per vial that were administered to the frontline healthcare workers.

“The manufacturers recommend that you get five doses out of a vial, however experience from everyone else overseas that started with the Pfizer vaccine shows that if you use the correct syringes and needles, you can get six doses out of there.”

Ben said the process of the COVID vaccination is very similar to getting an influenza shot, with recipients waiting 15 minutes in an observation area in the unlikely event of an adverse reaction to the vaccine.