Graphic: COVID launch and Dubbo hangar

Outback vaccinations underway

Date published

06 Aug 2021

Government and outback communities placing trust in RFDS to quell pandemic

On 28 May 2021, the Federal government announced a partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service for the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out to remote communities across Australia.  

South Eastern Section CEO Greg Sam and the RFDS of Australia Executive Director Frank Quinlan joined Michael McCormack (then Deputy Prime Minister) and Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton at our Dubbo Base to tell the press. 

It’s estimated that 30,000 people will be vaccinated under the program. “Rural communities are seeking to be vaccinated as a priority,” said Mr. Sam. “They are doing their bit for national herd immunity.”

Graphic: Randall Greenberg and Minister Coulton on Clinic plane

Minister Coulton said the partnership with the RFDS means remote communities can be confident they’ll get vaccinated against Covid-19. “From the outset of this pandemic, the RFDS has provided retrievals, evacuations, swab transfers, and fly-in GP respiratory clinics, protecting the lives of people living and working in the most remote corners of the country,” he said. 

“Nobody knows remote communities like the RFDS, and it makes sense for the Government to utilise their capacity and knowledge to ensure all Australians are protected against this global pandemic.” 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, around Australia the RFDS has conducted 189 Respiratory Clinics in remote areas and seen 391 patients.

Residents in and around Broken Hill have also been able to get the jab at the Clive Bishop Medical Centre at our Broken Hill Base since Easter. 

The South Eastern Section is now planning ahead to start vaccinations at several remote locations in remote NSW and beyond, in coordination with the State and Federal governments, Primary Health Networks, Local Health Districts and local GPs.

COVID launch

Left to right: RFDS Executive Director Frank Quinlan, RFDSSE Chief Executive Officer Greg Sam, Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton, and former Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack at the Dubbo base