South Australia will close some of its mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics, allowing staff to return to the state’s struggling public hospitals.
Among those clinics to close is Adelaide’s largest at the Wayville Showgrounds.
At its peak, Wayville administered more than 4000 vaccines each day, providing about 580,000 doses over the past 14 months.
But the daily rate has now dropped to about 100.
A large clinic in the northern suburbs will also close, but will be replaced by a smaller location next week.
Health Minister Chris Picton said while a number of government clinics would continue to operate, including mobile sites and in some regional centres, the closures reflected a shift of vaccine demand away from the government clinics to GPs and pharmacies.
Last week, 2300 doses were administered by GPs and pharmacies and 600 at government clinics.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said it was the right time to wind back the larger clinics allowing resources to be put where they were most needed.
“Certainly, our hospitals are under enormous pressure and having the nursing staff and also the pharmacy staff back in hospitals will be very welcome,” she said.
“The important thing is we shouldn’t assume that what we had done at one point in the pandemic needs to go on forever.
“This is another example of that.”
Other recent changes to SA’s pandemic response included the dropping of COVID concierges at hospital entrances who quizzed people as they arrived about their symptoms to try to identify those infected with the virus.
Officials are also considering scrapping the need for people who arrive at hospitals to use a QR check-in code.
The information provided by the check-ins is no longer considered of great value.
SA reported 2137 new COVID-19 cases on Monday along with six more deaths.
There are 210 in hospital with nine in ICU.
Recent modelling suggested SA could have a spike in cases in coming weeks, with daily case numbers reaching up to 5000 by mid-July, following the arrival of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants.