6 July, 2021
Vaccine numbers improve in key Island communities
Seventy per cent of the eligible population received their first vaccine on Badu and Mer islands last week, sparking optimism in the health community.
Mer (Murray) Island had better results than Badu, but Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service director of medical services Tony Brown was happy overall.
He said 518 people were given their first dose of Pfizer, which represented about 71 per cent of the 733 people in the eligible population group across the two islands.
On Mer alone, it was about 86 per cent of the eligible population.
Dr Brown said vaccination numbers were starting to pick up in the Torres Strait, but many more people needed to be vaccinated to keep communities across the region safe.
“As we can see with the situation in south-east Queensland, Townsville and Magnetic and Palm Islands – not to mention Sydney, Darwin and Perth – things can change very quickly indeed, especially with the new, much more infectious Delta variant now making an appearance in Australia and in Queensland,” he said.
“The only way we can start to find our way out of the current cycle of lockdowns and restrictions across Australia is if a high proportion of people – at least 80 per cent – are fully vaccinated.
“To achieve this, we must do our bit up here in the Torres Strait and, in the coming weeks, in the NPA and on Cape York.
“So please, when the vaccination clinic comes to your community don’t hesitate to go along and be vaccinated.
“Everyone in our region is being offered the Pfizer vaccine.
“The only people in our region still being offered AstraZeneca are those who received a first dose at the beginning of our vaccination program in mid-March, before we paused the program.
Dr Brown said health service vaccination teams would this week move to Warraber Island and St Paul’s community on Moa Island.
They will then move to Poruma Island and the Kubin community on Moa Island.