Acting Clinical Nurse Tiani Bye is vaccinated by Registered Nurse Princess Gabrillo
Acting Clinical Nurse Tiani Bye is vaccinated by Registered Nurse Princess Gabrillo

Proserpine Hospital staff roll up sleeves for COVID jab

Proserpine Hospital staff rolled up their sleeves for the COVID-19 jab.

Mackay Hospital and Health Service is vaccinating healthcare and emergency service workers at all rural hospitals in April.

Medical Superintendent Dr Shaun Grimes said it was a red-letter day for staff who lined up at 8.30am on Wednesday eager to be vaccinated.

A total of 70 were vaccinated on the first day in Proserpine.

"We have been waiting for this day since the start of the pandemic so by 8.30am there was long queue for vaccinations," Dr Grimes said.

"Early on in the pandemic the Whitsundays had returned overseas travellers who were COVID-19 positive and were cared for by our hospital.

 

 

"We've also swabbed more than 1700 people for COVID-19 in our emergency department and in pop-up clinics at Airlie Beach, so it is important that our staff have the opportunity to vaccinate."

Dr Grimes said it was the first step towards protecting the wider Whitsunday community from COVID-19.

"We would encourage all eligible people to be vaccinated through their GP and as it becomes more widely available as part of the national rollout," Dr Grimes said.

"I think everyone is looking forward to getting through this pandemic without further harm to our community and to enjoying a new life on the other side of COVID-19."

COVAX lead and executive director of nursing and midwifery Julie Rampton said Dysart and Moranbah hospital staff members would also be offered their vaccinations this week.

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Mackay HHS is also vaccinating emergency service workers.

The rural rollout continues next week with Collinsville and Bowen coming online and Clermont the following week.

"By the end of the month all frontline healthcare workers in the Mackay HHS will have had the opportunity to receive their first vaccination," Ms Rampton said.

"We will be offering multiple opportunities at each hospital in the coming weeks and months to ensure everyone has the opportunity to vaccinate."

To date the Mackay Base Hospital and the CQU City clinic have vaccinated 1580 people along with 63 at Sarina Hospital.

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Ms Rampton said vaccinating the health care workers was a great step towards protecting the wider Mackay HHS community

She said the vaccine offered an essential safeguard for these people.

The broader community will be vaccinated in line with the national rollout and will be notified when it is time for them to book their vaccine.

"It continues to be important to follow basic infection prevention measures such as social distancing and staying home if you are sick and getting tested if you have the symptoms of COVID-19," she said.

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