REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: RFDS to the rescue on Kangaroo Island

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from ACM, which has journalists in every state and territory.

VACCINE DELIVERY: The Royal Flying Doctor Service will deliver and help administer 3500 COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines to Kangaroo Island. Photo supplied

VACCINE DELIVERY: The Royal Flying Doctor Service will deliver and help administer 3500 COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines to Kangaroo Island. Photo supplied

The Kangaroo Island community is relieved to next week have to its COVID-19 vaccines delivered from the sky by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The RFDS and local health network will run a six-day-a-week program for the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines on KI over three months.

The RFDS is also providing the same service to remote Indigenous communities.

The Flying Doctor will be bring the vaccine and be supporting the vaccination program on the ground with a team of authorised immunisation nurse specialists.

The Kangaroo Island Council is also involved as the special vaccination hub is being set up at the town hall in the Island's main town of Kingscote.

The has been some progress, most recently when the South Australian health department sent a team to Kangaroo Island earlier this month to vaccinate priority groups including frontline healthcare workers, aged care residents and emergency workers.

But there has been a lot of confusion and community angst along the way with the local, state and federal authorities seemingly unable to make it happen, much to the frustration of local medicos at the GP clinic and local hospital.

But it's all water under the bridge now as the RFDS is an ideal solution, much trusted by Islanders.

The Island has had a long and close relationship with the Flying Doctor, with the RFDS Kangaroo Island Support Group raising thousands every year.

The RFDS lands on KI on average three times a week to airlift patients to Adelaide for life-saving surgery or specialist medical treatment.

Now it will be winging in life-saving vaccines.

STAY HOME: State Member for Mawson, Leon Bignell and his Kangaroo Island kelpie puppy Dusty back in March 2020 put up coronavirus signs urging people to stay in their own postcode and not visit.

STAY HOME: State Member for Mawson, Leon Bignell and his Kangaroo Island kelpie puppy Dusty back in March 2020 put up coronavirus signs urging people to stay in their own postcode and not visit.

I am sure you will agree it's been a strange year, even here on unique Kangaroo Island.

It was last March at the outbreak of the COVID-19 that Islanders were calling for the Island to be closed off to all visitors.

That never ended up happening and as the states were able to keep on top of the virus, we all relaxed a little, perhaps even more here on KI.

But at least for me watching the rolling tragedies unfold in the US, Brazil, India and who knows where next, it was always in the back of mind that it was only a matter of time before the virus arrives in our little island paradise.

I have put my hand up to be one of the first to get one of the vaccines when they arrive next Tuesday.

I hope to get footage of the plane landing and even live stream my own vaccination, if they'll let me!

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