Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) ramps up vaccinations as wet season approaches
Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) crews continue to travel hundreds of thousands of kilometres each week to transport and administer Pfizer vaccines to some of the world’s most isolated communities located in Western Australia.
Since May, the RFDS in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, WA Country Health Service and local Aboriginal Medical Services have so far delivered more than 7,000 vaccines across the Goldfields, Midwest, Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia.
Western Australia is spread across more than 2.5 million square kilometres and is the largest and most remote health jurisdiction in the world; the Kimberley region is almost twice the size of Victoria and three times the size of England.
Delivering and administering vaccines from one to up to three locations per day across WA, RFDS immunisation nurses and vaccinators, supported by a Flying Doctor and pilot, often work in groups of three to manage the cold-chain management of vaccines on long-haul trips by air and road.
On any given day, RFDS crews could be transporting vaccines, administering vaccines, educating healthcare workers and providing health and vaccine promotion in communities.
With the wet season fast approaching the Kimberley region of WA, RFDS crews based in Broome continue to work tirelessly to encourage vaccine uptake, supply and administer vaccines to people with limited or no access to medical care.
This includes remote Aboriginal communities, remote hospitality workers and staff operating on remote cattle stations located in the top end of the State.
RFDS General Manager for Health Service Delivery Damien Whitham who is leading the program said the remote vaccination program in Western Australia is an ongoing and intensive effort.
“The wet season approaching the Kimberley brings along its own set of unique challenges for our crews delivering vaccines in more than 25 remote and transient communities in the region,” Mr Whitham said.
“We are proud to support communities and industries by ensuring the most vulnerable, workers at tourist sites and cattle stations across the Kimberley are fully vaccinated before they relocate elsewhere or travel interstate to seek work.
“When RFDS crews arrive in these communities, people know that we have travelled a very long way to reach them and our crews are there on an important mission and we are grateful to them for responding by rolling up their sleeves for our State.
“It sure has been a test of endurance and resilience by our amazing crews who give their everything, every day to be there for the people of Western Australia. We know we have a long way to go but the RFDS remains committed in our mission to be there, just like we have for more than 90 years now.”