I had my first vaccination on the 20th April, 2021 in Warrnambool and I had to fight to get it. Unlike many people I know who are resisting getting vaccinated, my wife and I were keen to get the shot. We had both turned 60 and had a serious medical condition so we were classed as 1B. As no-one under 50 was getting AstraZeneca anymore it should have been easy. But like nearly anything to do with the Federal Government it was a balls up.
My parents had already been vaccinated in Geelong. They were lucky enough to be visiting their GP when a cancellation allowed them to get a shot earlier than expected. My younger brother had been vaccinated as well as a front line worker in Melbourne. My mother had no reaction to the shot but both my brother and father were knocked around for several days to a week. We decided to get vaccinated a week apart in case of a reaction.
Knowing I was entitled to get vaccinated I used the government website to find a vaccination centre. The website requested booking online. There were many on offer that were mostly GP clinics but they would only vaccinate their own patients. Many were very unhelpful. The Warrnambool Vaccination Hub had online booking that didn’t function. One clinic suggested contacting my own GP even though they were not vaccinating. They informed me to head to the vaccination centre the next day and just join the queue. So that is what I did.
When I arrived there was no queue but just a steady stream of arrivals about two or three deep. There was no problem getting in and staff from start to finish were friendly, professional and made the experience easy and painless. I was disappointed with how poorly the hospital ran the bookings. Its website only allows bookings once the vaccine arrives yet there was no message letting you know that the booking format was locked until then. On asking to book my wife in at the centre there was only an A4 page that everyone wrote their name on – it looked more like an office birthday card. I know hospitals and clinics are seldom aimed at the patient experience but a little more care would go a long way.