To respond to the current outbreak in Far North New South Wales, the Australian Government will provide an additional 7,680 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses immediately for use in the eight affected local government areas, including Walgett.
Expected to arrive in regional communities tomorrow, the delivery includes 4,800 vaccines for use across general practices and Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (CVCs) and 2,880 for use in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS). This includes activating three additional general practices and an additional Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) in Bourke.
In line with the ‘New South Wales COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan’, the Government is working directly with the New South Wales Government, ACCHS, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (NACCHO), local stakeholders and the local community to provide immediate support to outbreak impacted communities. These areas include Bogan Shire, Bourke Shire, Brewarrina Shire, Coonamble Shire, Gilgandra Shire, Narromine Shire, Walgett Shire and Warren Shire.
The Australian Government has also activated an Incident Management Team to respond to this situation, providing additional support to the remote communities in the area.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the additional doses will help provide protection to those living in the area, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“This is a whole-of-government effort to support these communities and ensure that people can be protected through vaccination, while also having access to additional health support and testing services,” Minister Hunt said.
“We are also ready to provide additional AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for general community vaccinations.”
The National COVID Vaccine Taskforce has also engaged the Royal Flying Doctors Services (RFDS) for emergency response and evacuation, Personal Protective Equipment drop offs and additional vaccine capacity where needed.
As part of the Commonwealth’s Point of Care Testing Program the Government has expedited more cartridges and another testing machine to the Walgett ACCHS to meet testing demand in Walgett and surrounding regions.
In addition, NSW Health has advised they are committed to a whole-of-community vaccine blitz in Walgett.