Australians need to maintain ‘extraordinary enthusiasm’ for COVID-19 jab

Australians need to maintain ‘extraordinary enthusiasm’ for COVID-19 jab

well the efforts in covert ravaged new south wales to increase testing sites add vaccination hubs resource similar centers now in the bush and get food and sanitary packs to the most needy and isolated is a mammoth undertaking as you’d appreciate but one of the key people driving these efforts is very familiar with running complex operations in a crisis he’s none other than former new south wales rural fire service commissioner shane fitzsimmons who went from coordinating the battle against those devastating bushfires of 2020 straight into the position of new south wales commissioner of resilience and thank goodness for the state he’s got plenty of that quality he joins me now shane fitzsimmons thank you very much for your time uh good evening chris it’s great to be with you i’d like to get your comment firstly on what i was trying to articulate there raw infection case numbers now are less important what is important although the raw infection numbers are scaring people is the drive that we have at the moment which is first class world-class in getting a jab we absolutely need to maintain that extraordinary enthusiasm to get out and get vaccinated it is it is so impressive to see it is so heartening to see uh that the vast majority of of citizens across this state across the country are actually rolling their sleeves up and getting vaccinated it is uh the key tool to helping us out the other side there’s no doubt we’ve got to be concerned uh about this invisible undetectable threat that’s running around and infecting some of our most vulnerable and needy in the community it’s having a profound effect on some but you’re right chris uh the vaccination has seen a significant turn around uh in in what would otherwise have been catastrophic hospitalization icu and indeed death had we not had so much of the population uh vaccinated there’s still a long way to go there’s some very serious concerns uh with the numbers and with the spread not just in the sydney basin area in the greater sydney region but particularly as we see cases emerging in other parts of new south wales where we’ve got particularly vulnerable cohorts of communities particularly in our indigenous communities in a lot of remote isolated areas of the state but you’re right we’ve just got to maintain that energy maintain that focus and it’s a credit to to susan pierce that you saw in the press conference today and her team across state health the logistics and the operations pulling together those hubs and coordinating with the commonwealth and gps and pharmacies uh mobile clinics mobile vaccination centers all those sorts of things getting into the the targeted areas has been quite remarkable but it’s the energy and it’s the commitment of our people right across this state that’s making it all possible to start getting to the other side just a small point about that i noticed that victoria is setting up drive-in vaccination centers at now unused budding sites for instance which i think is an outstanding idea will new south wales follow that lead do you think oh look i know health are looking at a range of options chris and particularly in some of these really uh problematic areas where we’re seeing 80 85 percent of the cases we’ve been very flexible uh with with mobile um vaccination centers setting up in local places of worship local business centers local council areas where we can get to the communities uh most targeted for vaccine so look they consider all range of options all the time but there’s no doubt uh in the previous months uh the the vision and the plan to set up these max vaccination hubs uh and be able to do such high volumes in partnership with the gp network uh and the and the pharmacy network that’s come online more recently in the last couple of months really opening up you know many thousands of locations across the state to allow people to get vaccinated yes there’s a booking system but there’s also the ability to walk into a pharmacy or to or to go ring up your local gp and just get in and get that shot i’m so glad that i heard you say during the week that social distancing is a terrible term it is it should be physical distancing we need to be more social right now in our isolation than we’ve ever been absolutely chris and and with one of our lead roles in resilience looking after recovery from the from the droughts and the bushfires particularly and the storms and floods that have come covert has really exacerbated uh challenges in recovery and rebuilding and healing and the last thing we want to do when it comes to the covert restrictions and keeping separated from one another is exacerbate loneliness and isolation and depression so so i’ve never liked the phrase social distancing i get it i understand it but it’s actually about physical distancing physical separation and now more than ever in these difficult and uncertain times we need to be reaching out to one another that text message that phone call that video chat none of us knew about bloody zoom or microsoft teams you know 12 or 18 months ago but it’s second nature now you know when grandparents are online parents are online mates are online work colleagues are online we really need to make sure we’re connecting and helping each other and reminding each other that it’s okay to be experiencing tough times it’s okay uh to be uncertain but there’s help and support available and it starts with each and every one of us and it starts with that conversation that says it’s okay not to be okay and it’s okay to put your hand up for a bit of help every now and then but stay connected but do it virtually you must know of some extraordinary herculean efforts behind the scenes by people in the front line of this battle against covert 19. absolutely chris and and and i think i think there’s the obvious front line uh our health professionals our nurses our doctors our police and emergency services our adf but i think the last 18 months has reminded us all uh what those real frontline workers also are it’s the supermarket workers it’s those that are stacking the shelves it’s the distribution hubs that are moving produce around and and heaven forbid if we lost our toilet paper manufacturers and distributors when when it comes to covert there’s an army of men and women and when it comes to resilience new south wales one of our other key roles as part of the emergency management framework is the welfare and as you mentioned in the intro getting food and supplies and other essential materials out to those that are doing it tough some of our most vulnerable and needy in the community exacerbated by a mammoth undertaking and partnerships with organizations like food bank new south wales and oz harvest to give you an idea chris just in the month of july with our partner organizations and local community groups over 1 600 tons of food and produce and materials has been distributed around to people not just in new south wales but across the state more than 3 million meals only this week proactively in this last week semi-trailer loads of stuff are getting out to far western new south wales i saw a semi-trailer being unloaded on thursday friday out at will kenya and we’ve got we’ve got food packs and food hampers out to all the communities we’re proactively distributing protective clothing sanitary sanitizer products all those cleaning products to help them be covered safe as they distribute so so a big shout out and and food bank alone uh they were going we’ve been partnering with them for the last 18 months we’ve been helping out in the in the hotel quarantines and other situations and distributing support they were averaging about 3 000 orders a week uh we’re now averaging about 7 000 orders a day and that and that that food bank operation relies on remarkable ordinary everyday people volunteering their time we’re bolstering it with some emergency services personnel from ses and and the adf but it’s volunteers in there dedicating their time to packing and sorting and getting stuff out and for a lot of our culturally diverse communities making sure the food packs are nuanced to accommodate cultural uh relevance and significance so a massive operation i’ve got to leave it the army of men and women but seriously thank you for that insight and telling us what’s going on behind the scenes it is a mammoth effort and i think they’ve got the right person in charge thank you very much for your time thanks chris always good to catch up all right good to talk with you shane fitzsimmons wow
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Australians need to maintain ‘extraordinary enthusiasm’ for COVID-19 jab

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