LOCAL NEWS: New Mass Vaccination Hub Opens in the Hunter

The Belmont Mass Vaccination hub opened on Monday.

The Hunter’s new mass COVID-19 vaccination hub is now open.

After six weeks of transformation, the former Bunnings Warehouse at Belmont delivered its first jabs on Monday morning.

More than 300 staff including nurses and pharmacists are working at the site, which will be able to deliver up to 20,000 shots per week when it ramps up to full capacity over the next three weeks.

Hunter New England Local Health District Chief Executive, Mr Michael DiRienzo, said it’s an exciting milestone in the state’s vaccine rollout.

“In just six weeks we have converted an empty warehouse to a built-for-purpose clinic, including medical treatment bays, waiting areas, a pharmacy preparation area, storage, staff facilities and public amenities,” he said.

“It is testament to the team which has worked so hard that we have opened our doors today.”

Anyone who had already booked in to receive their jab at the John Hunter Hospital’s clinic will now be vaccinated at the mass hub.

Mr DiRienzo is urging locals to be patient, with the Belmont hub’s booking software experiencing issues with allocating vaccination times.

“I recognise that there is great demand for appointments across Newcastle and the Hunter, and that there have been some frustrations with booking,”

“Please be patient as we ramp up the clinic to full capacity.”

The mass vaccination centre is now open at 393 Pacific Highway, Belmont and locals can book an appointment through the federal government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker.