Western Sydney Allied and Oral Health professionals get COVID-19 vaccination training in state-wide first

As the demand for COVID-19 vaccinations ramps up across the state, more health professionals are being allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccinations into the arms of people from across NSW.

Oral and allied health staff from across the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) have been taking part in training for deployment across our COVID-19 vaccination clinics – including the new mass vaccination clinic set to open at Qudos Bank Arena.

WSLHD is the first in the state to receive the new training designed by the University of Sydney and COVID-19 program lead Naomi Van Steel said the overnight turnaround was something to be proud of.

“In such uncertain times, people continuously go above and beyond to ensure the safety of the community,” Naomi said.

“NSW Health announced the policy change on a Monday, and by the Wednesday, we had a large pool of eager candidates from Allied Health and Oral Health ready to undergo training.

“Our nurses are working day-in and day-out to ensure we can vaccinate as many people as possible. This will help us ramp up vaccination delivery to the staff and wider community.”

 The face-to-face training allowed staff to learn not only the theory behind the vaccination but the practical elements as well.

“In NSW, registered nurses and medical officers have been the only workers eligible to administer the COVID-19 vaccination. But thanks to this great initiative, more and more highly skilled health professionals are able to get involved,” Naomi said.

“I am so proud that our first training group are already out in the vaccination clinics vaccinating people under the supervision of a nurse immuniser.

“We are now looking at expanding the program out to final year allied health and nursing students and then bringing them into the team to help administer vaccines.”

Aboriginal healthcare worker and Blacktown Hospital physiotherapist Cameron Edwards participated in the training program and said he will be forever thankful for the opportunity to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination team.

“As an Aboriginal health care worker, I feel a sense of responsibility to be a leader in my community,” Cameron said.

“When Allied Health professionals in NSW were recently granted the opportunity to train in administering COVID-19 vaccinations, I jumped at the opportunity. Nurses and doctors have been working day-in and day-out, trying to vaccinate as many eligible community members as possible and I want to help them.

“People look at me and think I am young and bulletproof, and yes, I may not be at a high risk as other people in the population. But my nan isn’t bulletproof, my mob isn’t bulletproof, and the nation as a whole is not bulletproof.

“Getting vaccinated is about more than yourself. You need to think of the bigger picture and think of the ones you love the most.”

Cameron is joining the WSLHD vaccination outreach team and will be helping to vaccinate the vulnerable communities of western Sydney.

Are you over 18? You’re now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

To book your COVID-19 vaccination, go to www.nsw.gov.au or visit the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker online.