Vaccine rollout reaches first local healthcare workers
A NUMBER of Ipswich frontline workers are among the latest contingent to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as Queensland’s statewide rollout continues.
West Moreton Health environmental health officers Natasha, Ramu and Frank were the first in the region to get the Pfizer jab, just weeks after vaccinations first commenced.
The trio now joins more than 6500 others to have recieved the shot, administered under Queensland Health, since February 22.
Gold Coast nurse Zoe Park, 25, was the first person in the state to receive the immunisation.
The group were also the first employees of the public health unit to receive the two-part vaccine, with the second phase to be administered in several weeks.
It comes as Queensland Health and the Australian Government remain focused on prioritising groups deemed most at-risk of infection, including frontline and quarantine workers, as well as residents in aged and disability care facilities.
Natasha revealed her delight at being among some of the first Queenslanders to receive the much-anticipated shot.
“As part of West Moreton Health’s Public Health Unit, we undertake border screening and other high-risk priority group 1a work,” she said.
“The vaccine will provide a level of protection for ourselves and our community.”
AstraZeneca, a second COVID-19 vaccine, is expected to arrive in Australia mid-March, along with Victorian produced CSL from late March as the country further strengthens its rollout.
Queensland is expected to receive supplies of AstraZeneca by mid-to-late March.
Frank said the vaccine was a crucial step forward in protecting the public and urged “all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities to get vaccinated”.
Meanwhile, senior colleague Ramu said the vaccine would prove an essential part in allowing the community to return to a similar way of living pre-COVID-19.
“People in West Moreton can feel safe as the vaccine is rolled out over the next few months,” he said.
He urged people to continue to practise good hand hygiene and social distancing.
A spokeswoman for West Moreton Health confirmed on Friday that as the rollout progressed, more hospitals would be listed as vaccination locations.
She said Federal bodies intended to use pharmacies, GPs, private practices and community health centres to deliver the vaccine to more people as safely and quickly as possible.
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.