Armajun - Glen Innes New immunisation Fridge

NEW FRIDGE: RN Sara McGregor, Tim Bell-Levy, Lianna Fuller-Byrne, Josey Peterson and James Speedy with the new fridge which has been freshly stocked at Armajun on Monday. Photo: Rachel Baxter.

After months of paperwork and preparation, Armajun in Glen Innes are thrilled to house a new immunisation fridge on-site.

The fridge arrived five weeks ago, with the first delivery of vaccinations coming last Friday.

And it is going to make a massive difference to the community, registered nurse Sara McGregor said.

“There’s quite a rigorous procedure we have to go through with the public health unit,” she said.

“We have to show them we can keep the fridge at a certain temperature.

“We also had to have a site visit and they came last Tuesday and signed us off.

“It’s very exciting.”

Ms McGregor said the clinical benefits of the new fridge were huge.

“Immunisation is crucial and it opens up our services to not just children who are coming along and getting routine immunisations, it also means if anybody has missed immunisations at school they can come here,” she said.

“We can do pneumonia and flu immunisations [and] we can offer everything on the school schedule and everything that people are entitled to.

“That’s really important to keep the community protected.”

Before the new fridge was installed, the Glen Innes branch had to get vaccinations driven over from the Inverell Armajun.

“Before we were having to bring the immunisations over from Inverell in an esky,” she said.

“Immunisations are vulnerable and have to be kept at a certain temperature, so there was always a risk.”

Ms McGregor said the new fridge also opened up what she calls “opportunistic immunisations”.

“If someone is here for another appointment, say a sore foot, we can also ask if they have had their flu shot this year,” she said.

“If they have had an injury at work such as a tenanus-prone wound, rather than sending them to the local emergency department, we can offer tetanus shots here.

“The capacity to do opportunistic immunisations now, as well as routine scheduled ones, is immense.”

She said it also took pressure off other health services.

The capacity to do opportunistic immunisations as well as routine scheduled ones is immense. - Sara McGregor

“It takes the pressure off local GPs and the emergency department,” she said.

This article originally opeared in the Glenn Innis Examiner by Rachel Baxter