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Central West COVID-19 booster vax program under way

Friday 12 November 2021

News_Central West COVID19 booster vax program under way

Central West communities will be offered a booster COVID–19 vaccine from this week.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Medical Services Dr David Walker said people who had completed their two doses of vaccine during the early stages of the vaccination rollout started receiving text messages this week inviting them to have a booster.

Dr Walker said international studies showed the administration of a booster dose of COVID–19 vaccine six months after the completion of the primary vaccine course had significant benefits.

“A booster vaccine has been demonstrated to improve immune responses and increase protection, particularly in older people where the waning of vaccine protection is more pronounced,’’ he said.

“National advice is that everyone aged 18 years and over is recommended to have a third dose of vaccine around 24-26 weeks after their second dose.

“Additional advice is that booster doses can be offered at 18 weeks from the second dose for residents of rural and remote communities, but individuals are recommended to discuss this with their GP or our vaccination team to see if this earlier booster is appropriate to their circumstances.

“For everyone, the booster dose will be of the Pfizer vaccine regardless of what vaccine a person received for their first and second doses – whether AstraZeneca or Pfizer.

“Pfizer is the only vaccine that has been approved at this time for use as a booster dose in Australia.

“For immuno-compromised people in rural and remote areas, a third dose also is recommended to complete your course. Speak with your GP about your individual requirements.’’

Dr Walker said the message Central West residents would be receiving from the health service would inform them about their upcoming booster dose appointment.

“You will be allocated an appointment time at your closest clinic,’’ he said.

“If that time doesn’t suit you will be advised on how to change the appointment.’’

Dr Walker said anyone who had received their first and second doses through another Queensland or Australian vaccination program, and who was eligible for the booster, could contact Central West Health to book a booster vaccination appointment locally.

They can do so by calling 1800 953 703, or emailing their details to: CWCOVAX@health.qld.gov.au

“If telephoning, please have your Medicare card on hand for the phone call,’’ he said.

Dr Walker said Central West Health’s partner, the Western Queensland Primary Health Network, which had arranged the first and second dose vaccinations for all aged care residents in the region, also would undertake the delivery of booster doses for them.

“Our other partner, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, will continue to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster doses, to the Birdsville, Windorah, Jundah, Stonehenge and Yaraka communities, and work in partnership with Central West Health vaccination teams to deliver booster vaccinations into Bedourie and Boulia as residents become eligible,’’ he said.

“However, while booster doses are important to provide an extra layer of protection, Central West residents who have not yet completed their primary course of vaccination should not neglect to do so.

“Do not get left behind.

“While some people are lining up for their third dose to ensure they have maximum protection against COVID-19, there are still people in the Central West who have either not been vaccinated at all or have not completed their course of vaccination with a second dose.

“Anyone not yet vaccinated risks serious illness from COVID-19. This virus will come to the Central West and to Queensland. It’s not a question of if but of when.

“In addition, if you are not fully vaccinated, you will face significant restrictions on your activities. “So please, continue to attend our ongoing vaccination clinics across the region.

“We have plenty of vaccination clinics scheduled across the Central West throughout November, so there are still opportunities to be fully vaccinated.’’

Dr Walker said to date, 71.8 per cent of the eligible population in the Central West aged 12 years and older was fully vaccinated and about 81 per cent had received at least one dose of vaccine.

“For the eligible population aged 16 years and over, the fully vaccinated rate is even higher at about 73.8 per cent,’’ he said.

Dr Walker said Central West Health over the past week had delivered vaccination clinics at Longreach, Jericho, and Alpha.

Clinics on Saturday (13 Nov) and over the next week will be held at Tambo, Barcaldine, Aramac, Boulia, Bedourie, and Winton.

Bookings are recommended but walk-ins are welcome at all clinics. Booking an appointment is easy as calling 1800 953 703, or emailing: CW-COVAX@health.qld.gov.au

Remember, when presenting for you vaccination, to bring:

  1. Photo identification and your Medicare card, if you have one,
  2. Your vaccination card received at your first appointment when having your second,
  3. Information about medical conditions and current medications,
  4. Information about any other vaccine you’ve had in the past 7 days.

Upcoming community Pfizer clinics:

  • Alpha: 11 and 12 November at the multipurpose health service
  • Barcaldine: 13 November at the multipurpose health service
  • Tambo: 13 November community clinic at primary health centre in morning.
  • Tambo: 13 November pop up vaccination clinic for the Tambo Rodeo in afternoon.
  • Barcaldine State School: 16 November
  • Barcaldine: 15 and 17 November at the Shire Hall.
  • Aramac: 16 November
  • Bedourie: 19 November at the Bedourie Primary Health Centre
  • Winton: 18 and 19 November at the Council Facilities.
  • Boulia: 19 and 20 November at the Boulia Primary Health Centre
  • Winton State School: 19 November
  • Winton: 20 November at the multipurpose health service.
  • Longreach: 22-24 November at the Longreach Civic and Cultural Centre
  • Barcaldine: 25-26 at the Shire Hall
  • Blackall: 2-3 December at the cultural centre

NOTE: Due to the inclusion of children aged 12-15 years and the adoption from 1 October of Queensland Government Statistician’s Office 2020 data, there will be some differences going forward in vaccination coverage percentage rates quoted, compared with previous statements. There may also be differences between Queensland and Commonwealth data due to variations in reporting periods, as well as differences in parameters used, such as age cohorts and geographic definitions.

Contacts and for further information:
For the vaccination clinic in your community, all bookings can be made by phoning 1800 953 703 between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm business days or emailing: CWCOVAX@health.qld.gov.au.

A full list of Central West vaccination clinics is available at:

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/centralwest/menu/covax/covid-19-vaccine

More information on the vaccine is available online: www.qld.gov.au/covid19vaccine

You can also call 134 COVID (134 268) and visit:

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccine

You can also call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).


ENDS

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au

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Last updated: 23 November 2021