Over two days from 30 September to 1 October, more than 360 residents from in and around the town of Kununurra walked into the local leisure centre to receive their first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment.
The successful mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the East Kimberley, known as the Kununurra Vaxathon, was a collaborative effort between the Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service, WA Country Health Service, Wunan Health, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service, Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley, Royal Flying Doctor Service and St John Ambulance.
Derek Donohue, Practice Nurse Manager at the Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service, said that numerous factors contributed to the success of the Kununurra Vaxathon, including the provision of entertainment and catering which was funded by WA Primary Health Alliance.
“Food and refreshments played a huge role in garnering interest in the event. A sausage sizzle, boxes of fruit, slushy machine and bottled water were available. As always, food is a major drawcard to any community event,” he said.
The entertainment featured something for the whole family including a bouncy castle, face painting, live music, drag queen show, prize giveaways plus the opportunity to have a photo with West Coast Eagles football players and the team mascot.
“Enabling access to the event was paramount. OVAHS supplied a bus which ferried clients back and forth from the reserve areas. On the bus at times were one of the AFL players and the mascot, which helped to draw clients in,” Mr Donohue said.
Lorrie Morris, Clinical Coordinator at Wunan Health, the local general practice, said the Kununurra Vaxathon had a great atmosphere on both days and she was very pleased with the success of the event.
“We had quite a few people come through who don’t have Medicare and thought that they wouldn’t be able to get vaccinated. They were very happy when we told them of course you can! It was also great to see the different agencies come together and work alongside each other. Derek did a great job getting this off the ground so quickly,” she said.
The next Kununurra Vaxathon will be held at the end of October as a twilight event to avoid the heat of the day and allow people to come in after they finish work.
Find out more about our role in the COVID-19 vaccine roll out.