HUNTER doctors are agitating for a COVID-19 mega hub to be located within the region and have pointed to McDonald Jones Stadium as a suitable venue.
Several GPs have already sought government support to pool their resources and provide COVID-19 vaccinations from a large, more central location than their general practices, but have been refused.
Hunter GP Association spokeswoman Fiona Van Leeuwen said that to have 'mega hubs' in Sydney only made no sense.
"We feel very strongly that a location like the McDonald Jones stadium would be ideal for rolling out large numbers because the current system is slow and probably too slow to be enabling the economy and the population workforce to open up at the rate of that we need it to - it's clearly less than ideal," she said.
"We will get there but it is already taking longer than anticipated."
It would be great to "get moving" on vaccinations because the community needs large numbers of people vaccinated to "get back to normal".
"People are losing their jobs or not being able to step back into their jobs and holding on under enormous financial pressure," she said. For some people, working from home for extended periods could be quite detrimental, she said.
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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited a new purpose-built vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park on Monday, which she says will be ready to start rolling out vaccinations "within weeks".
For the first two weeks, the vaccination hub will be open to people in categories 1a and 1b - emergency and aged care workers, frontline workers and their families. From Wednesday, anyone 50 or older can register to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at the hub from May 24.
The Pfizer vaccination will be available to those aged 40 to 49. But, the premier says it's still preferable that anyone 50 or older gets vaccinated by their GP who knows their medical history.
This week the Federal Government has stepped up the supply of vaccines as it enters stage four of the vaccination program, doubling or tripling the number of AstraZeneca doses available to low and high volume general practices.
Warners Bay-based GP Annette Carruthers said an increase in the supply being made available to GPs was helpful, but they had the capacity to do more.
In general, patients have been keen to take up the opportunity, Dr Carruthers said.
A spokeswoman for Hunter New England Health said yesterday that health workers were being vaccinated as quickly as possible from hubs through the region. "We have done a huge amount of outreach up in our rural and regional areas," she said.
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