School’s clinic serves Wendouree
A POP-UP vaccination clinic run by Ballarat Health Services has been held at Mount Rowan Secondary College.
Set up as an easily accessible option for area families, the clinic was also a chance for the Secondary College and its neighbouring school Yuille Park Community College to support students in starting, or finishing, their vaccination process.
More than 300 vaccinations were administered on Sunday and BCH nurses saw approximately 100 people from the Yuille Park and Mount Rowan school communities along with 200 walk-ins.
“It was good to be able to come here. I had booked in a while ago, but I had to wait a while, so it was great to be able to move my appointment here and get it over and done with,” said Mount Rowan Secondary College student Chloe.
“It was a very easy experience, and the nurse was really nice.”
Mount Rowan SC principal Seona Murnane said she was proud to host the facility.
“I was chatting to a mother then who said she wouldn’t have organised vaccinations so soon otherwise, so it’s great to hear that this initiative is working,” she said.
“It’s convenient to come here, and we’re glad we can support our school community, the Yuille community, and local Wendouree community.
“We’re doing whatever we can to make sure everyone’s keeping healthy and safe. We’re all in this together, so it’s a team effort.”
BHS CEO Dale Fraser said the mass vaccination centre at the Mercure, and its location, doesn’t suit every Ballarat family, and general practitioners and pharmacies aren’t so easily accessible in the Wendouree area.
“We keep looking at the demographics of where the gaps are, or where the under representation of our supply of vaccines has been. A need has been identified, and this solution has been determined,” he said.
It was “pleasing and warming” to Mr Fraser to see families, students and friendship groups coming through the clinic together on Sunday.
“Children can sometimes be concerned, nervous, or scared, but having their family members around them is quite helpful,” he said.
“It’s amazing having it at the school. There is a great feel about this place, with the students coming through and the camaraderie.”
Yuille Park Community College principal Brett Shillito agreed that attending a vaccine appointment would be challenging for many of his school’s families if they were required to travel across the city.
He enjoyed visiting the site on Sunday, giving a wave to lots of young and familiar faces.
“Any of these initiatives are fantastic because they’re reducing barriers. It’s really good to have something close by that’s really easy to get to,” he said.
Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said schools are the heart of the suburb’s community.
“By bringing our schools together through this important vaccination rollout, we’re making sure we’re connecting with families who really do need the support and the encouragement to get vaccinated,” she said.
A second pop-up at the same site will be held in three weeks’ time to offer second doses. Whether there will be walk-in opportunities without bookings is yet to be confirmed.