In collaboration with the Western NSW Primary Health Network and Dubbo Family Doctors, Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) will establish a pop-up influenza and COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Dubbo to help boost local vaccination rates.
The walk-in clinic will operate for two days on Friday 8 July and Friday 15 July at the Dubbo Showground Woolpack Pavilion, from 9am to 5pm on both days offering influenza vaccinations and COVID-19 boosters. Bookings are not required.
Priscilla Stanley, WNSWLHD Public Health Director, is encouraging the Dubbo community to come forward for vaccination as the number of influenza cases in the area has risen sharply recently, but uptake of vaccines has not increased in turn.
“This year more than 4,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed in the District, and more than 1,400 of those have been in the Dubbo area. Those figures mark increases from the last real flu season we had in 2019, but this time COVID-19 is also circulating,” Ms Stanley said.
“However, vaccination rates are still too low. A little more than a third of people in the District have been vaccinated against influenza and that rate is similar in Dubbo, where around 36 per cent of people have received their vaccination.
“Vaccination is the best and easiest way we can protect ourselves and the people around us from illnesses like influenza and COVID-19, but it also helps to limit the impact these illnesses can have on our vital healthcare workers and facilities too.”
Ms Stanley urged the community’s most vulnerable populations to ensure their vaccinations are up to date. In particular, she encouraged parents to take advantage of the clinics being held in school holidays.
“Vulnerable members of our community are more at risk of serious illness from influenza or COVID-19, so we want to make sure they have as much protection as possible to reduce that risk,” Ms Stanley said.
“We’ve seen high numbers of influenza cases in children across the District, but in the Dubbo area less than 20 per cent of children aged under 15 have received a vaccination. So this is a great chance to get the kids vaccinated, but also make sure the entire family’s vaccinations are up to date.”
Dugald Saunders, Member for the Dubbo electorate and Minister for Western NSW, urged the community to avoid complacency during winter, when the risk of catching viral illnesses like influenza and COVID-19 is higher.
“The flu is back with a vengeance and COVID-19 isn’t going away, so I urge anyone who hasn’t had a flu jab or COVID-19 booster to take this opportunity to protect themselves and their families,” Mr Saunders said.
“Collaboration has been at the core of how our region responded to COVID-19 and it’s really heartening to see this kind of collaboration continuing to bring these important clinics to Dubbo.”
Influenza vaccines are free for all eligible people until 17 July, and available to anyone aged six months and over. To find out more about influenza vaccination visit the NSW Health website.
COVID-19 boosters will be available to anyone over the age of 16. To find out more about COVID-19 vaccination or to find your nearest provider visit the Federal Government’s Clinic Finder.
To find out more about what we can all do, outside of vaccination, to help protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19 and influenza-like illnesses visit the NSW Health website.