Cohealth administers 25,000th dose of COVID vaccine

Spencer Fowler Steen

West Melbourne’s Cohealth vaccination clinic has reached an impressive milestone, administering more than 25,000 COVID-19 vaccinations since May, doing its bit to help Melbourne open back up.

The vaccine was delivered from Cohealth’s West Melbourne clinic, one of several vaccination clinics the community health agency is currently operating across the northern and western suburbs including from Laverton and Collingwood Cohealth sites and pop-up clinics at public housing high-rise estates, homelessness services and high-risk accommodation sites.

The lucky 25,000th client was Brunswick resident, Claire Blackman, 32, who was pregnant, due in September. Ms Blackman received the Pfizer vaccine after the Victorian Government opened up eligibility to pregnant women.

“I didn’t expect this! Im still in my trackies!” she said.

“Well you’ve got the 25,000th person, plus an additional one.”

“Two for the price of one!”

In a bid to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19, Cohealth has been setting up clinics in locations and communities of greatest need, including where there are people in high-density housing, those from culturally diverse backgrounds, and people experiencing homelessness.

Cohealth chief executive Nicole Bartholomeusz said it was a proud moment for community health, and gratifying to know that many of the 25,000 vaccines had been received by members of the community who face the greatest barriers to healthcare.

“We’re thrilled to have hit the 25,000 milestone and grateful to community members for their enthusiastic uptake of the vaccine,” Ms Bartholomeusz said.

“Offering the COVID vaccine from existing Cohealth sites means we have been able to leverage existing relationships with people in the community.”

“They trust us, so feel safe coming to get their vaccination, and we can actively seek out those clients we know might struggle to access the vaccine due to language barriers, low health literacy or other difficulties.”

Ms Bartholomeusz said Cohealth staff had done a remarkable job to roll-out multiple vaccines in an ever-changing, high pressure environment.

“It’s required enormous agility and dedication from every person in our team. We’re so proud of all the hard-working staff across all our sites,” she said.

Of the 25,000 vaccines at Cohealth, 15,000 were administered from West Melbourne. Of those, around half (55 per cent) of the vaccines were Pfizer and 45 per cent were AstraZeneca, and there was an even 50/50 split between males and females who received the vaccine •

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