Vaccination program success
Thinking outside the box has become a daily occurrence for councils rising to the challenge of continuing to provide community and staff services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic - and Coffs Harbour City Council, New South Wales, was a prime example with the delivery of its annual flu vaccinations.
Council’s Team Leader Work Health Safety in the Organisational Development (OD) Group, Naomi Symonds, said, “After some head-scratching, we came up with the idea of a drive-through vaccination station - after seeing a local news report of local medical practices doing vaccinations this way - so that all the current social distancing requirements would be met.
A large carpark at the Council run C.ex Coffs International Stadium provided the needed space without impacting traffic flow.
Staff booked in for their vaccinations online and each person was allocated an appointment time to avoid long traffic queues and waiting times – and to ensure no services were impacted by lots of staff being away at the same time from the workplace.
All vaccinated staff were given a 10-15 minute park-up period after the vaccination, to make sure that anyone who might experience an adverse reaction was not driving and was close to medical assistance.
“It was very much a multi-team collaboration and we worked with Terry Thorn, Section Leader Roads and Open Space, and his team who ensured that appropriate traffic control arrangements were in place to ensure a smooth flow, as well as the team led by Daniel Heather, Section Leader Stadium and Major Events, who helped with providing the venue and other support.
“The traffic controllers were troopers who cheerfully worked through some serious downpours on one of the days.”
In total, 265 staff who requested the flu vaccination were inoculated through the innovative system, including Council’s General Manager Steve McGrath.
“This year’s program was a great example of innovation and collaboration and I would like to take the opportunity to commend all those involved in ensuring that the program was not only rolled out effectively, but in a way, that ensured the safety of everyone,” said McGrath.