Closed Big W stores transformed to help in Covid vaccine fight

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Closed Big W stores have been transformed into pop-up vaccination hubs as part of a Federal Government National Covid Vaccine Taskforce initiative.

The vaccinations hubs have been launched to help deliver vaccinations to the Woolworths staff members and their families living in the LGAs severely impacted by Covid-19.

Pop-up vaccination hubs have been set up at the closed Big W stores in Wetherill Park and Canterbury-Bankstown.

A woman receives a vaccine at a Big W vaccination centre. Source: Woolworths Group
More than 200 vaccinations have already been done at one hub in the first week. Source: Woolworths Group

A third hub is also set to open later this month at BIG W Carnes Hill to help cover the Liverpool and Canterbury communities.

All three stores have been closed since July after being impacted by Sydney’s lockdown restrictions on retail outlets.

Who are the hubs for?

The hubs have been established to provide vaccinations to Woolworths Group team members, and their households, who live in the LGAs.

So far the first vaccination hub set up in Wetherill Park has distributed more than 200 doses in the first week, with Woolworths Group Head of Covid response, Ross Spencer, saying bookings are increasing.

“As Australia’s largest private employer, we’re delighted to be playing our part in accelerating the national vaccine rollout with the Federal Government,” he said.

Woolworths employee received vaccine. Source: Woolworths Group
The Big W vaccination hubs are open to Woolworths Group staff members and their families. Source: Woolworths Group

"Making vaccine access easy and simple is key to driving uptake.

"We’ve seen that in our distribution centres already and we’re seeing it now as we stand up these vaccination hubs.

"Our pilot clinic in Wetherill Park has administered more than 200 doses in the first week and bookings are growing as more team members become familiar with it."

How do the hubs work?

Woolworths has teamed up with accredited provider International SOS to lead the vaccination process in line with NSW Health requirements.

This partnership means trained health staff won’t be moved from the government’s existing vaccination programs. 

"We are working with the Federal Government to open similar vaccination hubs across the country as opportunities become available," Mr Spencer said.

The Woolworths Group have also been hosting pop-up clinics at their distribution and fulfilment centres since July.

They have administered more than 7,500 doses to frontline staff in roles across Supermarkets, BIG W and Distribution Centres.

The move by Woolworths comes as ​​NSW today recorded less than 1000 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases for the first time in three weeks.

In NSW, 82.2 per cent of people aged over 16 have had their first Covid vaccine, while 52.7 per cent are fully vaccinated.

While the number of Covid-19 cases in some LGAs of concern have declined, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said this was no time for complacency.

“Whilst we are seeing some pleasing declines in some of the suburbs and clearly the numbers today reflect that, it is too soon for complacency,” she said.

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