Swine flu vaccine not in Bundy

ALTHOUGH the roll-out of the human swine flu vaccine will begin today in Queensland, it seems unlikely the jab will be available to Bundaberg locals for another fortnight or so.

“Vaccinations will be rolled out through public hospitals and community service providers throughout the state, and vaccine is also being supplied to around 800 general practices (GPs) across Queensland,” Health Minister Paul Lucas said.

“Providing vaccines to indigenous and remote communities will be a key priority, and we will also use our existing chronic disease networks to maximise the roll-out of the vaccine to help protect people who tend to become sickest if they do contract human swine flu.”

According to local medical practices, the vaccine is not expected to be available in the Bundaberg region for another couple of weeks, but not many will be holding their breath - interest in it has not been high.

Burrum Street Medical Practice manager Carolyn Unwin said they had not received the vaccine or a date on when they would receive their batch.

“We haven't received anything at this stage,” she said.

“There hasn't really been a lot (of interest), the most has come from pregnant ladies.”

She said the practice has taken a list of their names, ready for when the vaccination does become available.

“(Swine flu) seems to have gone out of people's heads - out of sight, out of mind,” she said.

Bargara Medical Centre practitioner Dr Robyn Pollock said they have found the same, and did not have a vaccine arrival date.

“There has been slight interest (recently), but that has waned since the epidemic was at its peak,” she said.

A Bourbong Family Medical Practice spokeswoman said they expect the vaccine in the next two weeks.

“We just have to wait and see because they have to roll it out across Queensland,” she said.

Friendly Society Private Hospital and Burnett Medical Centre also had little interest and fewer details on when the vaccine would arrive.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration recently registered the new vaccine, with distribution throughout the state to be undertaken by Australian vaccine maker CSL.

At-risk categories

Initial vaccination focus will be on the most vulnerable groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • Indigenous people
  • Parents and guardians of infants up to six months
  • Children in special schools
  • Healthcare workers
  • People with underlying conditions including heart disease, asthma and other lung diseases, cancer, obesity, diabetes, kidney and liver disease, and neurological disease.

Read more about the swine flu vaccinations.

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