We’re off and running at Sandown

Happy staff Mary Ayre doing thumbs up

Our latest high-volume COVID-19 vaccination centre opened at Sandown Racecourse in Springvale this morning with the Channel 7 Sunrise team on hand to cover the action.

Chief Operating Officer, Martin Keogh, had his first vaccine live on air as Chief Executive, Andrew Stripp, spoke to David Koch and emphasised the importance of bringing vaccination to the community.

First public patient, Mary Ayre, was early through the doors after the centre opened at 9am. “I saw the story on the telly and I live five minutes away, so I thought, I’m doing this this morning.

“There is no need to be hesitant; it’s simple, easy, and very quickly done with the experienced staff here.”

Mary said her motivation was being “able to do things freely and with ease” once she’s fully vaccinated.

Members of the South Sudanese community were among the first visitors to the site, with Kenyatta Dei Wal, Chairman of the Federation of South Sudanese Associations in Victoria, arriving with a community contingent keen to spread the word.

Pacient receiving vaccine

“COVID-19 is real, and I want to protect myself, my family, friends and relatives,” Kenyatta said.

“Vaccination is not complicated, supported here by the Monash Health staff. I want to make sure I pass the message to my community to encourage others to come and be vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, the new Monash Health Sandown vaccination team came together and got familiar with the facilities at the new centre: banks of check-in computers at reception, vaccination booths overlooking the racecourse, the consent and post-vaccination information in many languages, and the pharmacy and technician area all converted from the bar.

To make a booking at Springvale, call 1800 675 398, and select option 1, then option 1, then option 1. Or visit the South East Public Health Unit website for more information about vaccination.

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