General practice experiences of Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout: lessons for primary care reform

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Australian Health Review


Objective: The aim of this research was to explore the experiences of general practice in delivering Australia's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, and the impact on practice finances and workforce. Methods: Eighteen semi-structured interviews with owners and practice managers of general practices in Greater Sydney between June and August 2021 were conducted. Results: Practices reported early enthusiasm for the vaccine rollout and engaged in large-scale staffing and infrastructure adaptations to manage increased vaccination workload. Although some practices reported increased income related to vaccination, nearly all reported increased costs. Lack of timely and transparent communication between primary care and policymakers was a major concern for practices. Conclusions: The success of Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout relied on the goodwill of general practices. Participation in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout resulted in increased stress, increased administration workload, and reduced financial viability for many practices.

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