By HARRY CLARKE
6 August 2021
THOUSANDS of residents in the Western Downs and South West Queensland have received Covid 19 vaccines and a portion of those are already fully immunised, as the vaccine rollout ramps up west of Toowoomba.
Several medical clinics in the Western Downs have supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the Western Downs Health Centre and Myall Medical Practice at Dalby are for the moment the region’s only clinics administering Pfizer.
Clinics in Chinchilla, Miles, Tara and Jandowae have all been allocated Pfizer stocks and expect to begin immunisations with both vaccines within weeks.
Under the Darling Downs health sevice umbrella, government vaccination clinics are currently only operating in Toowoomba, Warwick, Stanthorpe and Murgon.
A Darling Downs health service spokesperson told the Caller a clinic would be held at Chinchilla from August 9 – 10, but only for patients receiving their second dose of vaccine.
“Our vaccination rollout has been a staged approach in accordance with available supplies of vaccines, and under the latest advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation,” the spokesperson said.
“We are starting to see increases in supply and anticipate this to continue in the coming months.
As supplies become available, we plan to deliver more clinics in rural areas.”
WDHC immunisation nurse Sheralee Story said while demand at private clinics was higher for Pfizer vaccine, many patients from all age groups were happy with the AstraZeneca option.
“The government’s messaging was mixed when it started but I’ve given plenty of vaccines to people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s,” Ms Storey said.
“But people are still holding out for Pfizer. There’s been too much bad press about it, but we’ve given about 1,500 AstraZeneca jabs since March and haven’t had any problems.”
She said there was an “eight-page” waiting list of patients wanting Pfizer, despite the AstraZeneca vaccine being available to anyone over the age of 18 under the guidance of their GP.
In the South West government health service area, clinics administering predominantly Pfizer are currently operating at hospitals in Roma, Mitchell,, Wallumbilla, Injune, Mungindi, St George, Morven, Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Thargomindah and Augathella.
For details about clinic dates and availability, visit the South West Hospital and Health Service Facebook page.