HEALTH: The Federal Regional Health Minister has said rural and remote Queenslanders will get the COVID-19 vaccine ‘near where they live’. Pic: Brendan Radke
HEALTH: The Federal Regional Health Minister has said rural and remote Queenslanders will get the COVID-19 vaccine ‘near where they live’. Pic: Brendan Radke

Western Downs residents set to travel for COVID vaccine

Western Downs residents may have to travel from their regional towns to another to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Federal Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton said the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to every corner of the country was complex, and rural and remote communities will receive the vaccine "near" where they live.

"COVID-19 case numbers in rural and remote areas have been low, but the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine into regional, rural and remote communities is a vital part of the government's vaccine strategy to ensure everyone in Australia is protected," Mr Coulton said.

"The TGA has found the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to be safe, they are free, and you'll be able to receive your vaccination near where you live."

Mr Coulton said the Working Group - made up of the Commonwealth Department of Health, the National Indigenous Australians Agency and state and territory agencies - draws on expertise from health representatives.

"The leadership and expertise of these professionals provide important voices to the Working Group to ensure the rollout is done in genuine partnership and enables all rural Australians to be vaccinated close to where they live," he said.

The Chinchilla News asked Queensland Health when the vaccine would hit regional towns and if residents will be expected to travel hundreds of kilometres to the nearest city centre.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the department wants regional and remote Queenslanders to have the option of being vaccinated against COVID-19, but would not comment on when and if the vaccine would be available locally.

"People living in Queensland's regional, rural and remote regions will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest possible opportunity," the spokeswoman said.

"The Department of Health is working with all Hospital and Health Services, including Darling Downs, on planning and preparing for the vaccination rollout."

The spokeswoman said they will know more about the rollout in regional Queensland when the department receives stock numbers of the vaccine.

 

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