Firbank has been working with TLC Healthcare since last year, first to provide vaccines to staff and students in grades 11 and 12, followed by other students.
In October, rapid antigen testing was made available to all students and staff who wanted to do one – an offer that has proven to be popular.
“Simple for parents”
Lucy Weddell’s two eldest daughters, Anna and Skye, were vaccinated at a TLC Healthcare clinic through the school last year. Next month, the two girls and their younger sister Alice, who is about to enter seventh grade, will receive their reminders through the school‘s immunization clinic.
“It makes it really simple and straightforward for parents,” Ms. Weddell said. “We did not have to randomly find available places.
Rapid antigen testing has been used a lot by Anna and Skye over the past year, and Ms Weddell expects this to continue when school returns for the first term.
“It reassured us. We felt the school was a safe environment. The rapid antigenic tests have been very well received, ”Ms. Weddell said.
Although the federal government has insisted there have been no vaccine supply issues for children aged five to 11, who have been eligible for a vaccine since Monday, there are several reports according to which parents are unable to secure an appointment or have them canceled or rescheduled at the last minute.
Lou Pascuzzi, managing director of TLC Healthcare, said the initial priority had been to vaccinate residents, staff and contractors at the company’s 11 elderly care homes in the Melbourne Bay area.
“We doubled the dose for everyone in April of last year,” said Pascuzzi. “We only have medical centers co-located with 30 general practitioners and vaccination nurses on staff, so we thought about helping immunize the other 130 elderly care homes in and around our region.”
The company received a contract from the federal government and by September, according to Mr Pascuzzi’s calculations, had vaccinated all senior care staff and residents of Geelong in Frankston.
After being approached by Ms Williams, TLC Healthcare administered vaccines and provided rapid antigen testing to Firbank staff and high school students at their medical centers.
But with the news that the government would allow vaccination for young children, it was decided to move the vaccination program to the Firbank campus for its students and for those at nearby Brighton Grammar.
“We have 400 people booked for the first day of the two-week program Friday,” Mr. Pascuzzi said.
“Why the children? Well they still have an influence on [COVID-19 infections] in residential care for the elderly.
He maintains that there is “not a lot of money to be made” for the company, which is self-funding some of its rapid antigen tests to the tune of $ 470,000. With three sources of RAT, he is confident that TLC Healthcare will not encounter supply difficulties.