18 August 2021
What started out as a quest to protect some 61 vulnerable elderly residents and their 187 carers from the risk of COVID-19 at Chinchilla’s Illoura Village, has grown to a vaccination blitz that will see almost 700 people from across the community get a Pfizer jab this week.
Residential Manager of Southern Cross Care Chinchilla, Lance Payne has joined forces with Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and Vanguard Health to provide an in-reach COVID vaccination clinic for residential aged care staff working in Chinchilla. It’s great to see that every day from Monday 16 to Friday 20 August, the clinic located at the ambulance bay at Illoura Village is fully booked to provide the protective jabs.
Lance Payne said the idea to bring the Pfizer vaccine to the people of Chinchilla at Illoura Village was prompted by the realization that to access a Pfizer vaccination would otherwise mean a two-hour round trip.
What started as an operation to initially deliver a few hundred Pfizer vaccinations, soon escalated to 684 – around 7% of the population – once the breadth of need was realized.
“Initially, we had around 150 on our list, then 300 then 450 then 500 and finally 684 as we considered all who come into contact with our home here. Fortunately, the PHN really got behind this and helped us understand who was eligible and source the required vaccines,” Lance said.
All week, the vaccination team will ‘get the jab done’ providing protection to any elderly residents and their carers who are still waiting, as well as others who visit Illoura Village. This includes allied health professionals, hospital and pharmacy staff, volunteers, contractors, partners in community care, local police, ambulance, emergency and fire services.
“It’s a lot of work and we are so grateful to have everyone rally and get behind this community effort. It’s an act of pure love and gives us the best chance of keeping the oldest and most vulnerable members of our community safe,” Lance said.
Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt said, “Older Australians continue to be one of the more at-risks groups for COVID-19 so we are really pleased to see that in regional communities like Chinchilla, residential aged care facility staff are getting the opportunity to receive their COVID-19 vaccine to keep residents and their loved ones safe.”