RFDS rollout COVID vaccinations for children

COVID-19 vaccinations take flight for kids in Western Queensland

Date published

07 Feb 2022

RFDS (Queensland Section) has commenced the rollout of paediatric COVID-19 vaccinations in Western Queensland for children aged 5 to 11, while continuing to deliver first dose, second dose and booster vaccinations to adults as part of our primary health care service.

With students returning to school on Monday 7 February, the most recent data from Queensland Health indicates that on average only 20 per cent of Western Queensland children aged between 5 and 11 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine[1].

Last year alone, RFDS (Queensland Section) administered almost 10,000 COVID-19 vaccinations to help safeguard regional, rural and remote Queenslanders during the pandemic, with this number set to increase with several vaccine doses to be administered to children over the coming months in partnership with Queensland Health. 

RFDS (Queensland Section) COVID-19 Response Lead Joanne Mahony said the paediatric vaccination rollout will aid in protecting young Queenslanders from COVID-19 as case numbers continue to rise.

“The vaccination rollout has played a crucial role in delivering an important service to people in rural and remote Western Queensland, who would not normally have easy access to the vaccine, highlighting the vital primary health care role the organisation plays in regional Queensland in addition to our aeromedical retrieval services,” she said.

“From the comments made by Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard, we now know unvaccinated individuals are nine times more likely to require medical intervention when COVID positive.

“People in our communities are so isolated that if they become unwell it’s not as simple as popping to your local doctor’s office. By providing the vaccination to residents, we are aiming to further protect the community and decrease the likelihood of needing medical intervention should they become unwell,” she said.

As a result of the Flying Doctor’s vaccination program in Queensland, the organisation has seen the number of primary health care patients double, with 3,760 patients presenting for vaccines in December 2021 compared to 1,860 in December 2020. 

[1] Queensland Health as at 29 January 2022.