South Australia’s major COVID vaccination hubs at Wayville and Playford are set to close

Two of South Australia’s mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics are set to close their doors as demand falls for shots.

The state’s largest vaccination hub, at Wayville Showgrounds, will shut on July 14 while the clinic at Playford Civic Centre will finish up operations today.

Closure of mass vaccination sites will free-up nursing staff to work at the state’s hospitals facing critical shortages during busy winter months.

The Wayville hub was scheduled to close several months ago but the state government revised the closing date from May to July 14.

A new vaccination site for the northern suburbs will open on July 7 at the Elizabeth GP Plus Health Care Centre while smaller, mobile clinics will be available across metropolitan Adelaide and regional areas.

Health Minister Chris Picton said GPs and pharmacies have been playing — and will continue to play — a major role in administering COVID-19 vaccines.

“Playford will be the first mass clinic to close today and, while the site had administered a peak average of 1,142 doses per day, it is now operating at about 5 per cent of its peak capacity, so these numbers tell us is it is now time to wind back these services to meet current demand,” he said.

“Moving to smaller-scale or mobile clinics — with a bigger focus on GPs and pharmacies administering the COVID vaccine going forward — will importantly free up nursing staff to provide much-needed frontline services at our busy hospitals.”

A man wearing glasses speaking into microphones with a woman wearing a mask in the background
Health Minister Chris Picton says South Australians will still be able to get COVID-19 vaccines through 600 GPs and pharmacies across the state.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

Over the past week, 600 vaccines per day were given across SA Health vaccination clinics while GPs, pharmacies and other commercial providers administered around 2300 doses on average per day.

Almost 94 per cent of South Australians have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 68.5 per cent of those aged over 16 years old having received a booster.

Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said the mass vaccination hubs supported the strategy of vaccinating as many South Australians in a short period as possible, especially when borders reopened and restrictions eased.

“It was subsequently important to keep the clinics open during early 2022 when Omicron arrived, providing everyone access to a third dose as quickly as possible,” she said.

New, smallers clinics in Berri and Mount Gambier will open.

Other clinics may experience changes in dates and times. South Australians are asked to visit SA Health website for the most up-to-date information and dates when mobile clinics would visit regional areas.

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