Townsville and Charters Towers GP clinics showcased in COVID Vaccine Works campaign
GP respiratory clinics in Townsville and Charters Towers are the latest to be showcased in a COVID-19 campaign which highlights the incredible work primary care providers are doing to help protect North Queenslanders during the ongoing pandemic.
Northern Queensland Primary Health Network’s (NQPHN) Vaccine Works campaign spotlights the region’s vaccinating general practices and pharmacies, and focuses on the primary care sector’s highly successful role in increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates in North Queensland.
GP respiratory clinics have been operating across Australia since last year to assess people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms and test and diagnose cases including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia, and this year joined the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout program.
In the Townsville Hospital and Health Service region, two GP respiratory clinics are currently vaccinating the local community:
· Townsville GP Respiratory Clinic (located at Upper Ross Medical Centre)
· Charters Towers GP Respiratory Clinic (located at Gold City Medical Centre).
As of today (15 November 2021), Townsville GP Respiratory Clinic and Charters Towers GP Respiratory Clinic have together delivered more than 14,000 COVID vaccines to their local communities.
Townsville GP Respiratory Clinic has been vaccinating the local Townsville community since the vaccination rollout program began earlier this year.
“We have been supporting our community since the start of COVID-19, doing assessment and testing with our respiratory clinic, and the inclusion of vaccinating is now an extension of that,” said Practice Manager Kerrie Rankin.
“We are pretty proud of being able to do this for the community, but without the support of our teams, including reception and nurses, we wouldn’t have been able to do it and we appreciate everything that they have contributed.”
National Rural Health Commissioner Professor Ruth Stewart said the two North Queensland clinics, along with other GP respiratory clinics across Australia, have been a centre piece in the action to keep COVID-19 out of rural and remote Australia.
“These clinics were established very early in the pandemic so that people who may have been infected with the virus could be quickly tested in an environment that was safe for them, their community and the health professionals looking after them,” said Professor Stewart.
“Since then the staff of GP respiratory clinics have been working tirelessly to detect any cases and to vaccinate their communities.
“I thank them from the bottom of my heart and pay tribute to their service and dedication.”
NQPHN Chief Executive Officer Robin Whyte praised the two GP respiratory clinics and said the primary care sector is playing a key role in the ever-increasing rate of COVID-19 vaccinations across North Queensland.
“Our Vaccine Works campaign is about showcasing our local primary care providers for all the amazing work they’ve done over the past few months to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in North Queensland and protect our community,” Ms Whyte said.
“Primary care plays a vital role in the national vaccination rollout program, as it has the capacity to vaccinate in a distributed model by offering place-based solutions in local communities.
“North Queensland, due to its geography, presents unique challenges and opportunities, and the incredible work of general practices and pharmacies in our region will support us to reach our vaccination targets sooner rather than later.”
In North Queensland, there are currently 137 general practices, 106 pharmacies, 10 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and four GP-led Respiratory Clinics administering COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna).
To book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, including at Queensland Health clinics, people are encouraged to use the Australian Government’s official COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder at https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au