CHILDREN in the state's most remote areas will have access to COVID-19 vaccines thanks to a partnership between the federal government and one of the bush's most beloved institutions.
The Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) will play a vital roll in the state's vaccine roll out by delivering jabs to kids in regional areas, as well as booster shots to eligible adults.
RFDS' South Eastern Section (RFDSSE) will lead the charge in giving children aged from five to 11 their first shots, as well as adults who have had their first two vaccines more than four months ago.
RFDSSE health service general manager Jenny Beach said it was a privilege to assist areas they would traditionally service in the fight against COVID-19.
"Our focus will again be making sure that people in communities with limited access are able to get the vaccine. This includes our traditional service areas of Far West NSW where people would need to travel for several hours to receive a booster if we didn't provide it," Ms Beach said.
"Our vaccination teams will also include towns and villages where it isn't as simple as going down to a pharmacy or a mass vaccination clinic.
"Some of these will be locations where we provided first and second doses last year and others will be new areas where our services have been requested."
Enngonia local Kahla Baker has booked in her booster as well as a vaccination for one of her daughters Amber Azzopardi, while her other two daughters Holly and Kristy had their first dose of the vaccine at an RFDSSE clinic on January 11.
"It's great the Flying Doctor is coming because it allows us to be vaccinated in our own community," she said.
"There are no GPs in town - the RFDSSE is our GP and often our health service', so without them coming here, we would have to go to Bourke or somewhere else and that's just so much harder.
"There has already been an outbreak of COVID in Enngonia last year so we know what can happen and I want my family protected."
In the second half of 2021, the RFDSSE provided more than 31,000 doses of the vaccination to people across rural and remote NSW.
In partnership with federal government, Local Health Districts and Aboriginal Health and Medical Services, the service coordinated vaccination clinics, initially in west and far west NSW before moving to the Pilliga, Upper Hunter, New England and even South Coast regions.
The clinics have varied in size, from 20-30 in remote locations, through to mass clinics at locations such as Narrabri, Tamworth and Gunnedah, which vaccinated several hundred people in a day.
In the coming weeks, RFDSSE teams will visit locations including Goodooga, Grawin, Burren Junction, Wee Waa, Engonnia and Weilmoringle as well as locations further south and east.
Clinic locations and times will be advertised within local communities closer to the date, with booking to be done online prior to arrival.
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