Vaccination levels against COVID-19 are expected to increase considerably in Narrabri Shire following successful mass immunisation clinics.
Narrabri saw a combined 1236 doses of Pfizer administered at a two-day clinic at The Crossing Theatre on Sunday and Monday.
At Wee Waa, 317 inoculations were administered off the back of a previously successful clinic which saw 360 doses provided on August 24.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service, NSW Health, Narrabri Shire Council, local emergency services and the Rotary Club of Narrabri worked together to ensure Narrabri’s clinic ran smoothly.
In Wee Waa, the local Aboriginal land council was heavily involved in the running of the town’s vaccination centre.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro made particular mention of Narrabri and Wee Waa’s mass vaccination weekend at the state-wide COVID-19 update on Monday.
“The Narrabri vaccination numbers were one of the lowest in the state,” Mr Barilaro said at Monday’s update, also attended by Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
“Almost 1000 people were vaccinated. That is an unbelievable result for the communities of Wee Waa and Narrabri.”
Mr Barilaro also told the press gathering that vaccination was the key to protect regional communities.
Narrabri Shire Council mayor Ron Campbell was pleased with the success of the three days of immunisations across the shire.
“The purpose of these clinics was to increase the overall vaccination rate of the Narrabri Shire which as of August 27, 50.4 per cent of Narrabri Shire residents 15 years and above had received their first dose and only 22.1 per cent having received both doses,” he said.
Cr Campbell told media that the clinics would be a welcome boost to vaccination levels.
He also praised all of the agencies involved at the two clinics.
“The Narrabri walk-in clinics were arranged by the RFDS and council along with emergency services and other key stakeholders within four days; with the Wee Waa clinic being arranged by the RFDS in liaison with Wee Waa Local Aboriginal Land Council within the same timeframe,” he said.
“I’d like to sincerely thank the Royal Flying Doctor Service for providing our community with this mass vaccination opportunity and thank the community for their ongoing patience with some waiting in queues for over five hours.”
Council’s director of corporate and community services, Lindsay Mason, served as the coordinator of The Crossing Theatre’s two-day clinic.
“Both days at The Crossing Theatre ran extremely well,” he said.
“There was enough medical staff, council staff volunteers, community organisation volunteers, and emergency services; all of which played vital roles in delivering this mass walk-in clinic to our community.
“The event was coordinated in four days between council, the RFDS, Narrabri and Wee Waa nursing staff from Hunter New England Health, local emergency services, Rotary and with the assistance from federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, and NSW Upper House MP Sam Farraway.
“There were some long days and nights involved to get the logistical arrangements in place in such a short timeframe and to ensure everything went according to plan on all days.”
Mr Mason said there was a significant amount of interest from Narrabri Shire residents wanting to roll up their sleeve as well as an incredible amount of interest from surrounding shires.
The RFDS will return to Narrabri Shire in coming weeks to administer second doses to those who received their first immunisation at the clinics.
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