March 9, 2021

First Northern Health staff receive COVID-19 vaccine

Today marked the official start of our COVID-19 Vaccination Program at Northern Hospital Epping.

Among some of the first staff to receive their vaccination were Craig Field, ICU Patient Services Assistant, Rina Gaunder, ICU Nurse Immuniser,  and Daniel Habteslassie, Junior Medical Officer.


These staff were nominated to represent our first high-risk staff to be vaccinated as part of the new program.

“Their selection was based on the commitment they showed during the challenges with COVID-19 during 2020,” said Lora Davies, Director of Nursing.

With emotions running high, these three frontline health care workers were excited to be some of the first staff members to receive their vaccination, after what was an unforgettable and extremely challenging year last year.

“Having worked in the COVID-19 Ward last year, being vaccinated means protection for myself, my family and my patients. I’m really fortunate to have access to this today and I’m looking forward to receiving my second dose in the future,” said Daniel Habteslassie, Junior Medical Officer.

“It’s been a pretty hectic last twelve months and I’m very grateful and honoured to be receiving this needle today,” said Craig Field, ICU PSA.

“As I work in a high-risk area in the ICU, it’s a good thing to be vaccinated to be protected – for my family and other staff members, as well for as our patients,” said Rina Gaunder, ICU Nurse Immuniser.

Led by Nurse Unit Manager, Luma Gashi, vaccinations will be provided within Transit Lounge 2 in the new South East Block. Follow the signage from main reception to Transit Lounge 2.

Special thanks to Pharmacy, Health Information Services and all staff involved in the Vaccination Program for their untiring efforts behind the scenes.

“The Vaccination Program will commence with a Monday to Friday service, but will increase to a 7 day a week service commencing 22 March,” explained Debra Bourne, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.

In the first week, the clinic will be open from 7.30 am to 3 pm and then the following weeks from 7.30 am to 7.30 pm. However, these times could change according to demand and vaccine availability.

Some staff have already received an email providing them with the instructions of how to book in and make an appointment for their COVID-19 vaccination. All other staff at Northern Health will receive an email in the coming weeks providing details of how to book in.

“It is really important that you all ensure that you are looking at your Northern Health email and that your inbox is not full,” says Debra.

A hotline has been established and will be operational Monday to Friday, 8 am to 3 pm. For those staff that have received an email for a booking and need assistance, please call (03) 8468 8079. In addition, there is also a COVID-19 vaccination email that staff can send any email enquiries to: