THE Royal Flying Doctor Service's (RFDS) month-long vaccination blitz in the North West is off to a flying start, with 972 jabs in arms on Monday in Gunnedah.
The town's very first walk-up Pfizer clinic had the capacity to administer 1000 jabs, and mayor Jamie Chaffey was extremely pleased with the result.
The RFDS have been hosting "fly-in" clinics in remote and regional areas across the country for months, but Cr Chaffey said the Gunnedah clinic was the "biggest individual day that they've conducted in NSW" as far as jabs in arms are concerned.
"Everything went really well, we were prepared and had high expectations of maybe reaching 1000, but realistically thinking around 650 might be the number," he told the Leader.
"We were prepared with 11 vaccinators here and a whole heap of volunteers to coordinate everything from traffic control, to people control - where they should go and how they fill paperwork out."
People were lined up bright and early at 6:45am to get a jab, despite doors not opening at the Gunnedah Showground clinic until 9:30am.
"Wait times were a few hours in those early line-ups but once the doors opened within half hour things were really starting to move quite quickly and then from just after lunchtime the wait times were down to 20 minutes," he said.
At a walk-up AztraZeneca clinic in Gunnedah last month, only 99 people took advantage, while the same clinic in Curlewis didn't even reach double figures.
Cr Chaffey said people have been prepared and quite happy to get AstraZeneca, and have had plenty of opportunity up to now to do that, but getting access to the Pfizer vaccine has been "problematic".
"But now that the doors are closed for the day we're very happy with the results and how things have gone," he said.
State emergency services, Gunnedah Shire Council, Winanga-Li Gunnedah and Gunnedah Rotary Club all helped coordinate the day.
The clinic returns to the Gunnedah Showground on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9:30am to 4pm, before heading to Mullaley Hall on Thursday and Curlewis Hall on Friday from 10am to 4pm.
The clinics have the capacity to administer 1000 jabs per day so locals are encouraged to come and take advantage.
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