MAYOR’S FAMILY LINE UP TO GET VACCINATED IN DRIVE
PALM Islanders are taking part in a drive to get as many people vaccinated as possible in order to prepare for the worst.
The family of Mayor Mislam Sam have joined the push, with his daughters, Shameka, 16, and Sharona, 13, flying to the island to get their jab.
The Palm Island Community Company (PICC) Primary Health Service started the new campaign to get the community vaccinated on Tuesday.
The Sam girls said other young people should also be getting their vaccinations to help protect the community.
“(It is important to get our vaccination) to protect our community and our family,” Shameka said.
“It’s to protect our mob,” Sharona added. PICC chief executive officer Rachel Atkinson said the push to get people vaccinated was to make sure Palm Island was prepared when the virus reached the Indigenous community.
“We’ve got to be ready for it,” Ms Atkinson said. “The first thing is to make sure everyone is vaccinated from 12 upwards in the community.”
She said access to the vaccine was key, with the health service able to offer about six jabs a day in addition to the two-day drive this week and next week.
“This is the first time ever an Aboriginal community control can now provide the vaccination,” Ms Atkinson said.
She added that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities had little access to or a low take-up of the vaccines, which was why the push was so important.
“I think Palm Island is doing quite well in terms of the numbers, but it’s not enough,” Ms Atkinson said. “The positive here is that people are still lining up to get vaccinated.”