Six million people will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccination as of Monday, but many are struggling to actually book an appointment

Details on hundreds of GP clinics across the country were released Wednesday morning, encouraging those eligible to book either online or by phone

Many of these GPs were surprised when the phones rang

Plaza Medical in Kalgoorlie is listed as one of only two vaccine providers in the remote mining town

Rob Sterry of the clinic said they had no idea it was coming on Wednesday – and had been dealing with eager and confused patients all morning

The clinic didn’t have any booking software ready, but was hoping to start recording next week

In some cases, general practitioners have told people they didn’t know the vaccine was being rolled out in their practice

Another practice manager said he was frustrated that it felt like they were being told what was happening after being publicly told

But Health Secretary Greg Hunt said the announcement was always planned to be made on Wednesday, which seems to contradict the clinics’ reports

“All of the practices listed today were actually carried out – not only approved – but they placed orders themselves,” he said

“The only practices listed today are those who have submitted and confirmed their orders”

Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy said Australia is in no hurry to roll out and people shouldn’t bother their GPs

“While some GP clinics go online next week, they won’t post appointments until they’re sure their vaccines will be delivered in the next day or two,” he said

As part of Phase 1b of the rollout, all Australians aged 70 and over, as well as more healthcare and frontline workers, and some with certain medical conditions may be eligible for the vaccine

Some wanted to schedule their appointment early Wednesday, register online to find the closest GP available, and contact them with their frustrations when they found out it couldn’t be

“I was told that they don’t even have these injections in stock and won’t do it until Jan. April will be booking by phone, so a big disappointment, “said one person

“I was also told that they didn’t even know the government had released this news about the rollout – that’s not good – lack of communication with family doctors, they were inundated with phone calls”

Another said they weren’t given a date to potentially get in

“I went to the government site online and found that I qualified and called the nearest clinic I was told they weren’t making appointments, ”he said

“When I asked when I could get an appointment, I was told they couldn’t confirm when I could get a shot! What’s happening?

“I looked through the government website and I hit a dead end! I called several clinics from the site and none of them even had the Vax! “

Australian Medical Association President Omar Korshid said that starting next week, participating GPs would only receive 50-100 doses

The government expects that by the end of April 4,000 general practitioners will be able to administer the vaccines

The ABC also spoke to some people who were turned away from listed general practitioner clinics because they were not yet a patient in this practice

“There are other ways to access the vaccine for Australians whose usual GP is not involved in the initial rollout or will not be involved at all,” he said

“We hope that there are major government vaccination clinics as well as Commonwealth-operated respiratory clinics so that all Australians have the opportunity to get vaccinated

“Since we have very few vaccines available in the country, it will take time”

Vaccine introduction

World News – AU – Confusion as general practitioners fall short due to the sudden expansion of vaccine introduction