Spirits are high across Narrabri Shire, with an overwhelmingly positive response to vaccine uptake.
After a slow start due to supply issues, the Narrabri shire has quickly bounced back to match and even surpass vaccination rates in other areas of NSW.
On Sunday, September 19, the Australian government released the latest vaccination data per LGA, revealing the Narrabri shire has reached the 80 per cent first dose mark.
The local area is also nearing 40 per cent double dose.
And those figures are set to rise even further, thanks to additional vaccine clinics taking place in the shire this week.
The first of which took place at the Narrabri Aquatic Centre on Tuesday, September 21, free access and use of the facility being granted by Narrabri Shire Council.
This pop-up hub was again organised by Marilyn Binge as a follow-up to the first clinic, which took place in the same location in late August.
She had the support of her family, particularly her cousin and sister, with everyone helping out on a voluntary basis until the hub wrapped up at about 2pm.
As she did for the earlier clinic, Ms Binge collaborated with Moree’s Pius X Aboriginal Medical Service, which provided vaccine supplies and staff to administer immunisations.
“Everyone who supported us did so for the good of the town,” Ms Binge explained.
“And if it weren’t for those helping out, especially the Pius X team, these vaccine opportunities would not be available to us.”
She thanked the Moree team for their help, saying Narrabri Shire’s impressive vaccination rates wouldn’t be possible without such collaborations with medical professionals.
“I feel the indigenous population in some regional communities were forgotten about in the vaccine rollout,” she said.
“So, we’re pleased to be able to offer these pop-up clinics to make sure everyone is staying safe – we could’ve offered even more if we had the supplies.
“And we’re especially grateful for Pius X’s support, they travelled to our town and supplied all the vaccines for both clinics.
“It’s very exciting to see the Narrabri Shire has hit 80 per cent of first doses already, especially given the delay in getting vaccines out to remote areas.”
To speed things up, two people were collecting participant data via computer, followed by two nurses administering jabs.
“Last time we had everyone filling out paperwork by hand, but the use of technology this time around has made things a lot quicker,” Ms Binge said.
Both AstraZeneca and Pfizer doses were available, with the approximately 60 participants able to decide which one they’d like on the day.
Free tea, coffee, water and juice were also made available thanks to BEST Employment and John Clements, of Roy Butler’s office, with many taking up the offer while they waited their 15 minutes post-vaccination.
Men and women of all ages were present, with some getting their second dose and others receiving their first.
Deanna Gray was among those having their second jab, saying she’s excited to be fully vaccinated.
“I wanted to get the vaccine to do my bit for the community, as well as protecting my family including my kids and grandkids,” she said.
“It’s good to see our small community working together, I think the locals have made a great effort.”
Ms Binge says a third pop-up clinic will be arranged, with the help of Pius X in Moree, to make sure everyone who got their first jab on Tuesday can receive their second.
The other vaccine hubs will take place this weekend with the help of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
The Wee Waa Local Aboriginal Land Council will hold a vaccination day at their Rose Street address on Saturday, September 25, from 10.30am to 2.30pm.
The Crossing Theatre in Narrabri will be administering vaccines this coming Sunday and Monday, September 26 and 27, from 9.30am to 4.30pm and 9.30am to 2.30pm respectively.
See more COVID news:
- RFDS vaccine clinics return to Narrabri Shire this weekend
- Narrabri Shire businesses roar back into action
- Mayor, state MP, police among calls for easing of restrictions