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Outreach flu vaccinations, a lifeline during the pandemic

Sep. 11, 2020

IMG 2009 Outreach flu vaccinations a lifeline during the pandemic web

Brisbane North PHN has been working with service providers QuIHN and Micah Projects, delivering free flu vaccinations to people who are at increased risk of poor health outcomes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The free outreach project, set up swiftly as the pandemic began, aims to reduce the risk of respiratory infection in individuals with comorbidities—helping people stay well and reducing the strain on the healthcare system.

The target population for the project were people experiencing homelessness, those vulnerably housed, or escaping family

violence and living in temporary accommodation. The project removed various barriers to people receiving the flu vaccine including cost, inability or fear of attending a GP in the midst of the pandemic, or lack of awareness of the benefits of vaccination.

Immunisation nurses reached the target population by visiting crisis accommodation, boarding houses, hotels and motels accommodating people sleeping rough.

QuIHN and Micah Projects worked together to deliver 849 flu vaccinations during the ten weeks of the project.

Approximately 40 per cent of those receiving vaccinations had never had their flu vax before, demonstrating the “doorknocking” approach helped to remove some of the barriers to vaccination access.

Other outcomes of the project included a high percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement; the increased ability to support people with referrals for comorbid presentations; and the strengthened connection between QuIHN, Micah Projects and other community based organisations.

For more information contact the PHN’s Priority Communities Project Development Officer, Warwick Pawsey on 07 3630 7300.

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