A new vaccination hub in Armadale is set to boost the local COVID-19 vaccination rates, as it provides an accessible hub to the surrounding local government areas.
According to the Local Government Area Geographic Vaccine Rates report released by the federal Department of Health, Armadale, Gosnells and Serpentine Jarrahdale remain amongst the lowest in the rate for vaccinations.
Armadale had 66.2 per cent of residents vaccinated with their first dose as of October 10, with Serpentine Jarrahdale further behind at 59.2 per cent and Gosnells not much more at 66.5 per cent.
This is much lower than the current State total with 73.6 per cent of West Australians vaccinated with their first dose.
The new vaccination clinic in Armadale is a game changer, providing accessibility to the Pfizer vaccine alongside the new walk-in policy.
Federal Member for Burt Matt Keogh said that accessibility has certainly been part of the reason there has been a low vaccination rate in the area.
“It’s a long way to one of the other hubs from Armadale so having the new clinic is really important to improve that,” he said.
“Also, the fact the people can just rock up, they don’t need to make an appointment means that people who aren’t very good at using computers or don’t want to have to navigate a phone system are more able to access this hub.
“We’ve seen that in the first day with good numbers turning up.”
The clinic currently offers the Pfizer vaccine, but the Astra Zeneca can be received at the St John Medical Centre down the corridor from the hub.
Mr Keogh said that whilst the low vaccination rate in the area is most likely due to accessibility, he urges anyone hesitant to get the jab to speak to a healthcare professional.
“Throughout the whole community there are people who do have concerns, and what I say to those people is talk to a doctor, talk to a medical expert about the vaccine because getting vaccinated is so important,” he said.
“When managing the state border and the national border it’s important to get the vaccination rates up to where they need to be.
“Different states are at different places with vaccination but what’s also important is that we have broad coverage in the community so people with disabilities, people in Aboriginal communities are properly and highly vaccinated.
“If that doesn’t happen then we will continue to have outbreaks, whether it’s within the states with closed borders or whether it’s in states that have high vaccination rates.”
Mr Keogh was vaccinated in August.
This Saturday, October 23, the Armadale clinic will host an Aboriginal Family Day to welcome all Aboriginal people aged 12 years and above to the clinic with a Welcome to Country, food and other activities provided.
The hub is located at Armadale Central Shopping Centre, up the ramp from the food court.