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NSW Health Rolls New Vaccine Management System

NSW Health-run vaccination centres are migrating to a new US-based company’s vaccination management system. eHealth NSW revealed the two-year contract with the American tech company for its Vaccination Administration Management (VAM) platform last week. The aim is to progressively migrate hubs off the in-house CoVax system.

VAM, which first went live in June, is replacing CoVax, a stopgap solution developed in-house over 21 business days earlier this year with help from other major global tech players. CoVax went live in February at South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD) to support the frontline worker vaccinations and, by August, had expanded to all but three LHDs and speciality networks. VAM was configured and implemented in just 10 business days in anticipation of the accelerated vaccine rollout in the second half of 2021.

An eHealth NSW spokesperson stated that the tech company’s platform “ensures scalability and ease of use and is designed to manage the entire vaccination administration”. It is used to book an appointment, track vaccination doses, record clinical information, manage clinic workflows and interface with the Australian Immunisation Register operated by Services Australia. NSW Health chief information officer Zoran Bolevich has also previously said that the system has “simplified and automated workflows between administrators, clinicians and patients”.

Vaccination centres that were previously using CoVax are now being progressively migrated to VAM, a complex process as updates continue to be made and usage remains high. While the rollout is continuing, eHealth NSW last month said “appointments have already successfully transitioned from several live clinics, and speed and efficiency of this process continue to improve”.

Earlier this year, Victoria entered a six-month contract of similar value with Microsoft for its Covid vaccine management platform. Tasmania also has rolled out a health management system to allow residents to book vaccination appointments online.

The NSW government has released data showing Covid vaccination rates by area – individuals can use this interactive map to check their postcode or suburb. They can also toggle between showing the percentage of people who have received at least one dose and the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated. To compare the rates for areas over time to see the course of the vaccine rollout in that postcode, users can use the date menu.

New South Wales is currently experiencing the worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic in terms of the number of cases, with the more infectious Delta variant proving hard to contain. In another article, the Dubbo MP has praised the “real team effort” across the Western NSW Local Health District with the vaccine rollout in the region speeding up. Dubbo’s vaccination rate is around 85% for first doses and between 40-50 per cent for second doses.

The region has been extremely well-supported by, not just the local health district, but by the ADF, who have been here now for a few weeks delivering some of these vaccines in areas that would’ve been difficult to get the uptake as quickly without those clinics.

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