Community stars shine in vaccination drive – WINNER

Community and Oral Health has been vaccinating Metro North residents closer to home thanks to the opening a host of new community-based and pop-up vaccination clinics over the eight months. 

Throughout 2021, large vaccination centres have been opened at Doomben Racecourse, Brighton Health Campus, Kippa Ring, and the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS), and more recently the Brisbane Airport and Brisbane Entertainment Centre at Boondall. 

Community and Oral Health Nursing Director Mary Wheeldon said between March and August a further 150,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were delivered through these centres.  

“At STARS alone close to 75,000 vaccines where delivered by the end of August, with around 30,000 at Doomben and Kippa Ring,” she said. 

“In total we are seeing 10,000 vaccines being delivered every week, with this number increasing significantly as more sites like Boondall Entertainment Centre Mass Vaccination Clinic and the Pfizer vaccine became available.” 

The Community and Oral Health vaccination team consists of nurses, administration officers and pharmacists who work as a collaborative team to provide a vaccination service that is safe, effective and optimises the use of the available vaccine.  

“By delivering vaccination clinics at multiple sites across Metro North we are able to optimise community access and deliver vaccines closer to people’s homes,” Mary said.  

“The outcomes of these clinics could only be achieved through an engaged workforce who provide a person-centred service and who are committed to vaccinated as many people as possible.  

“Our mantra is we vaccinate to protect the individual, protect their families, and protect the community.”  

Mary said many staff who work in the clinics do not usually work in a direct clinical role but have completed their COVID vaccination training and become part of our clinical workplace for days and sometimes week to directly deliver vaccinations.  

“At the same time, Community and Oral Health staff delivered testing, hotel quarantine, bedded services, oral health care and broader rehabilitation and complex chronic disease care across the community and in homes,” she said. 

“Throughout the year, we saw a massive increase in the number of tests being delivered at the Pine Rivers Community Assessment Clinic as well as an increase in demand across all of our service lines.”  

More recently we have seen the opening the Boondall Entertainment Centre Mass Vaccination Clinic, and pop-up clinics at State High Schools, health precincts, Brisbane City Hall and select Bunnings Warehouses.