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Good attendances at Cooktown community vax clinic

Image of Cooktown resident Melissa Gunton made the most of the short wait times and did her part to protect herself, her family and the Cooktown community from COVID-19 this week. She was vaccinated by nurse Suzana Borlovan.

1 October 2021

Good attendances were recorded at this week’s first community vaccination clinic at Cooktown.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Bev Hamerton said a total of 417 people had been vaccinated at the immunisation clinic at the Cooktown PCYC this week.

“This means that at Cooktown to date, 31 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 years and over has now received at least one dose of a COVID–19 vaccine through our health service- delivered vaccination program,’’ she said.

“However, at Cooktown, as at Weipa, our rates do not include those residents who have been vaccinated through the local GP medical centres or pharmacies, so the actual percentages in Weipa and Cooktown will be higher than our health service records show.’’

Including Cooktown, a first dose clinic at Lakeland, and catch-up clinics at Bamaga and Thursday, Mabuiag, Mer (Murray) and Badu islands, a total of 981 vaccinations were delivered this week across the health service region.

“We vaccinated 282 people, including seasonal workers, at Lakeland alone, which was an excellent turnout there for such a small community,’’ Ms Hamerton said.

“Next week, our teams will continue vaccinating the community at Cooktown.

“We will also be delivering a special three-day immunisation clinic from Tuesday to Thursday for students at the Tagai State College on Thursday Island.

“And we will be delivering catch-up clinics at Warraber (Sue), Masig (Yorke), Poruma (Coconut) and Iama (Yam) islands and at the St Paul’s and Kubin communities on Moa Island.

“Then, from 11–15 October, we will be returning to Hope Vale, Aurukun and Weipa. “So, if you are in those communities, come and get vaccinated.’’

Following this week’s vaccination clinics, Cape York has seen 53 per cent of the total estimated eligible population aged 12 years and over receive their first dose of vaccine through the Torres and Cape HHS vaccination program alone, with 33 per cent now fully vaccinated.

In the Torres Strait, 70 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 years and over has now received a first dose of vaccine through the health service and 55 per cent of people are fully vaccinated with both doses.

In the Northern Peninsula area, 53 per cent of the eligible population has received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination so far, with 39 per cent fully vaccinated.

Ms Hamerton said the Torres and Cape HHS vaccination program had been extended into mid- November to offer communities more opportunities to be vaccinated.

“We have added another 23 catch-up vaccination clinics to our already comprehensive program,’’ she said.

“So please, if you haven’t yet been vaccinated, or have only had one dose of vaccine, take the opportunity over the next few weeks to be fully vaccinated.’’

Ms Hamerton said all Torres Strait, Cape York and NPA residents could check the ongoing vaccination rollout schedule on the health service’s website.

“If there is another clinic planned for your community you can book an appointment by calling (07)  3497 3442. But you are also welcome to walk in,’’ she said.

“If there isn’t another clinic scheduled for you community you can register your interest in being vaccinated by visiting health.qld.gov.au/torres-cape and completing the online form.

“You can also call us on (07) 3497 3442 or speak to your local health facility, so we can arrange a vaccination.

“As the vaccine rollout continues and more people are vaccinated, we continually assess the best ways to reach people yet to be vaccinated.’’

NOTE: percentages quoted above relate to vaccinations delivered by the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service only and do not include vaccinations delivered separately through local GPs, pharmacies, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, non-government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and any other external agencies. As a result, overall total regional vaccination rates will likely be higher.

PHOTO CAPTION: Cooktown resident Melissa Gunton made the most of the short wait times and did her part to protect herself, her family and the Cooktown community from COVID-19 this week. She was vaccinated by nurse Suzana Borlovan.

Last updated: 1 October 2021