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17 August, 2021

Lockhart River leading the Cape in jab rates

More than 1300 people were vaccinated in Cape York last week and signs are positive ahead of the rollouts in Weipa, Aurukun and Pormpuraaw this week.


Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service chief executive Bev Hamerton said 1346 people were vaccinated at Bamaga, Coen, Lockhart River and Kowanyama.

She said the vaccination totals represented about 73 per cent of the eligible population for Lockhart River, 65 per cent for Kowanyama, 57 per cent for Coen and 56 per cent for Bamaga.

“We will be moving on to other communities in coming weeks but will be returning to each community to deliver a second dose of vaccine to those who received their first dose this week, so you will have another chance to be vaccinated if you have not been already,” she said.

“Obviously, we want many more people to be vaccinated and I urge residents to do so as the recent cases of coronavirus in Cairns have shown that no region, no matter how remote, is safe from incursions by the coronavirus.

“The only way forward for everyone in our communities and across the nation is to achieve a very high rate of full vaccination – at least 80 per cent – and that is what we are aiming for.

“The Delta strain of the virus can spread like wildfire once it takes hold. If it moves into our vulnerable First Nations communities it will be devastating.

“While no vaccine is 100 per cent effective, current evidence shows that people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine have a much lower chance of developing more serious symptoms from the virus, compared to those who did not get the vaccine.

“So please, everyone on Cape York, take the opportunity to be vaccinated when our immunisation teams come to your community.

“We are offering Pfizer to everyone on Cape York.”

Ms Hamerton said the health service last week started offering the Pfizer vaccine to children aged 12 to 15, in line with the latest changes to national guidelines.

“So, from last week onward, everyone aged from 12 years up is eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at our clinics,” she said.

“We urge all parents on Cape York to take the opportunity to have both themselves and their children vaccinated.

“Because of strong demand, we encourage people to book in for their vaccinations, especially at Weipa, to ensure you get a vaccine – but we are definitely accepting walk-ins as well.”

Pregnant women also have been cleared to receive the Pfizer vaccine, so pregnant women are encouraged to come forward and receive the vaccine so they and their unborn child can be protected.

Bookings can be made for all Cape York vaccination clinics by phoning (07) 3497 3442.


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