School swine-flu plan in doubt
A PLAN to immunise 8500 high-school students in the Rockhampton region against a second wave of swine flu has been thrown into doubt.
Queensland Health asked Rockhampton Regional Council to organise the immunisation of all pupils in years 8 to 12.
But councillors received the request with little enthusiasm, even though they were told the council could turn a profit of about $33,000 for its involvement.
Cr Bill Ludwig said he found it bizarre that the council should be asked to become involved in a scheme that should be handled by two state-government departments.
“I just don’t understand what it has to do with us. It is not a core business of council to be involved in vaccinations. Why can’t Queensland Health and Education Queensland work together without asking the council to be a go-between?” he said.
Councillors voted to ask Queensland Health for more information before re-considering the request.
In a report to councillors, chief executive Alastair Dawson explained the council had been asked to deliver vaccinations at a rate of $10 a jab. He estimated it would cost about $43,000 to pay for an administration officer and six nurses for 20 days to administer the program.
Dr Christine Selvey, senior director of Queensland Health’s communicable diseases branch said a second pandemic of swine flu was expected by April or May.
“Our strategy is to introduce a high-school-based program and providers who currently deliver secondary schools vaccination programs have been approached about the feasibility of implementing a program at the beginning of term one,” she said.
But no decision had yet been made to proceed, she said.
Tell us what you think, leave your comments below ...