Upper Hunter region ramps up COVD-19 vaccination drive as series of pop-up clinics held over weekend

Covid-19 vaccination efforts ramped up across the Upper Hunter region when three walk-in clinics were held over the weekend.

The first pop-up clinic was held in Merriwa on Friday, September 10 in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Upper Hunter Shire Council.

The Merriwa clinic administered 716 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to members of the local community.

QUEUE: Residents of Merriwa line up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination on Friday, September 10. Picture: Dave Layzell

QUEUE: Residents of Merriwa line up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination on Friday, September 10. Picture: Dave Layzell

Mayor of the Upper Hunter Shire Council Maurice Collison thanked state member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell and other members of the Merriwa community for their roles in organising the clinic.

"I would also like to thank the staff at Council as well as all the members from the VRA and RFS who, at no notice, got together and provided the support needed for today to run smoothly," Cr Collison said.

"And finally, thank you to the Royal Flying Doctor Service for coming out on this lovely day to help the people of Merriwa protect themselves and their community."

In Muswellbrook, a walk-in vaccination clinic held at the Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre administered 278 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Saturday, September 11.

Muswellbrook Shire Council assisted Dr Noman Jawaad of Hunter Medical Centre in operating the clinic from 10am to 4pm.

TURN OUT: Muswellbrook residents line up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday, September 11. Picture: Mathew Perry

TURN OUT: Muswellbrook residents line up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday, September 11. Picture: Mathew Perry

Muswellbrook Shire Mayor Rod Scholes said when the council was approached to support the initiative it agreed immediately to assist with infrastructure and set-up.

"Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre was identified as an ideal venue for a walk-in vaccination clinic and Council's staff undertook extra cleaning of the venue and amenities, set up the clinic following a COVID safe plan, provided IT services and a traffic management plan," Cr Scholes said.

A third pop-up clinic was held in Singleton at the Civic Centre on Sunday, September 12 which administered a total of 320 doses of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, according to NSW Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell.

Major Peter McGinty, Health Centre manager, Lone Pine Barracks, Singleton draws a shot of vaccine at Sunday's walk-in vaccination clinic at the Civic Centre.

Major Peter McGinty, Health Centre manager, Lone Pine Barracks, Singleton draws a shot of vaccine at Sunday's walk-in vaccination clinic at the Civic Centre.

"I can't thank everyone enough especially all the community volunteers and organisations who have made it all possible," Mr Layzell said.

According to NSW Health, 69.1 per cent of residents in the Upper Hunter Shire Council area have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine and 38.9 per cent have received two doses.

Further south, 53.9 per cent of residents of the Muswellbrook Shire Council area have received at least one dose and 25.6 per cent have received two doses, while in the Singleton local government area 60.8 per cent of residents have received one dose and 29.6 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated.