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1 October, 2021

Vaccination clinic a success

IT APPEARS that Far North Queenslanders have embraced the Cairns COVID mass vaccination hub located at the Cairns Convention Centre.

By Peter McCullagh

PHOTO: Peter McCullagh

The first full week had more than 7200 people receiving either their first or second dose of the vaccine. Since opening, the mass vaccination hub has delivered more than 8,611 doses.

To date there has been more than 120,000 vaccinations administered in the CHHHS region.

The mass vaccination hub dispenses both the Pfizer as well as the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Operating 6-days a week, the clinic accepts walk-ins however it is recommended if people have a preference for a specific time, you can book online at the Cairns Hinterland Hospital Health Service website and secure a confirmed time.

However, to date there have been no long delays with most people taking no more than 45 minutes from arrival to when they are cleared to leave the clinic.

Clinical Pharmacist and Vaccine Manager, Shelley Pemper is coordinating the management and supply of the vaccines throughout the hospital region.

Planning and timing is essential to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of the vaccination centres in the region.

“The vaccines must be stored at a low temperature, and then thawed slowly. Once thawed and ready for use we only have six hours after we open the vial to use it.

“It’s important we do not over prepare for too many people each day,” she said.

The vaccination hub is staffed as a joint project between Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Health Service and Ramsay Health in Cairns. Each day more than 60 staff, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and volunteers are responsible for the smooth running and short waiting times for members of the public wishing to get either their first or second shot.

It is recommended that anyone over the age of 12 should receive the COVID vaccination. The hub caters for families and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 7am to 3pm.


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