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Community & Business

18 March, 2022

Flying doctor helps with vaccine rollout

The Royal Flying Doctor Service south eastern section (RFDSSE) have been busy these past few weeks travelling across rural and remote communities to help safeguard families against COVID by providing adults and children with their vaccinations.

By Supplied

RFDSSE nurse Michael Harper with Rikki Hammond. Photo supplied.

As part of an agreement with the federal government, the RFDS is delivering booster vaccinations to people who had their initial two doses more than three months earlier and have begun administering primary vaccinations to children aged between five and 11 years old.

Locations for these vaccination clinics have been widespread, and include Wee Waa, Armatree, Gulargambone, Baradine, Spring Ridge and Quirindi. RFDSSE Non-Emergency Patient Transport (NEPT) Registered Nurse Micheal Harper has been a part of the vaccination rollout since 2021 and said these clinics allow rural and remote communities the option to easily receive the vaccine.

 “Many people aren’t able to get into town, they might have hundreds of kilometres to drive just to get to a pharmacy, so having our clinics in these rural and remote locations allows them to easily access a vaccine,” Mr Harper said.

Gulargambone's Rikki Hammond received her first and second vaccination with the RFDSSE last year and was one of the first group of people to have her booster when the vaccination team returned in February.

“I have children so decided to get the vaccine for them; it’s to keep them safe," she said.

Ms Hammond attended the clinic with her family, including her young niece, who received her first vaccination dose with the Flying Doctor and Mr Harper described her as “a trooper.”

The Gulargambone family were so appreciative of the RFDSSE for holding these clinics in rural areas, with Ms Hammond describing it as “very convenient.” There have been many memorable moments for Mr Harper over the past year while attending these clinics, but one which always stands out was vaccinating an entire family at The Marra.

“They were our last patients of the day, and the daughter was scared of needles so asked if she could lie down,” Mr Harper explained.

“She laid down in the dirt, with her feet up on a tree and I gave her the vaccine. You just have to be adaptable.” Mr Harper said he is proud to be a part of the national COVID vaccination response.

“We’ve attended very remote locations, so if it wasn’t for these clinics communities may have had real difficulty accessing a vaccination,” he said.

“We’re just doing our bit to help and it’s very rewarding.”



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