Aged care residents in the northern Illawarra are still awaiting their COVID-19 jabs due to a delay in the national rollout.
Facilities in Corrimal, Tarrawanna, Woonona, Thirroul and Stanwell Park were among 240 aged care homes around the country set to be visited by a flying squad of nurse immunisers administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this week.
As of Thursday, the Mercury understands none of the facilities have been paid a visit by a Healthcare Australia team.
Two IRT facilities are among those which were to be included in the first week.
An IRT spokesperson said: "While we don't control the schedule, we are doing all we can to prepare our residents to receive the vaccine and continue to work with the Department of Health as they co-ordinate the roll out of this important program."
A statement from the federal health department said storage issues for the temperature-sensitive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was part of the reason for delays.
"The rollout is a highly complex logistical operation, both for the storage and handling of the temperature sensitive vaccines and sensitive management of the needs of aged care residents and workers," the statement read.
"We are continually reviewing processes to ensure efficient and safe practises are upheld, particularly for our most vulnerable.
"...The department notes that last minute changes to the schedule have been made in some instances to accommodate vaccine delivery windows, consent arrangements at the residential aged care facility and cold chain management."
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The department said it continued to work with the Vaccine Operations Centre to give aged care facilities as much information - and notice - as possible about the rollout.
"We appreciate the co-operation of aged care providers, residents and families. This is a very important task and one of the biggest health logistical challenges undertaken."
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