Barry gets the jab


Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman receiving his first COVID-19 vaccination from Registered Nurse Mary-Lou Davis, with Dr Robert Reed supervising proceedings. Photo TWH

Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman became the first of many Bourke residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccination last Thursday.

Councillor Hollman lined up along with Councillor Victor Bartley and other people on the priority list and received the vaccination.

Barry said that it is important that everyone in Bourke gets the vaccination, so that the whole community is protected.

“I wanted to have the needle early to show the people of Bourke that it is OK and it is safe to have this needle.

“And I want to say to the people of Bourke that when the time comes for you to have the vaccination, please go up and have it.

‘I believe if you don’t have the vaccination, somewhere down the track you will be restricted in places that you can travel to – it’s a must for everybody.

Councillor Hollman said that Bourke had had a good run so far, with no cases of COVID locally, but that it was now time to protect ourselves with the vaccination.

“This vaccination will help us to open up travel and the economy, and it will protect the community – I urge everybody to go and have the needle when it becomes available,” Councillor Hollman said.

Ochre Health in Bourke has received approval from the Commonwealth government to assist with phase 1b of Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine National Roll-out Strategy.

From Thursday April 29th, free COVID-19 vaccinations are being delivered by the Ochre Health Bourke team to the phase 1b priority groups including:

• People 70 years of age and older

• Health care workers

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 55 years

• People with an underlying medical condition, including people with a disability.

• Critical and high-risk workers, including police, fire, emergency services and meat processors.

And following a decision by the National Cabinet to amend the COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, from May 17th Ochre Health Bourke will be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all people aged 50 years and over.

Practice Manager at Bourke’s Ochre Medical Centre, Tracey Coyne said that the Ochre Health Bourke team had spent several weeks preparing this exciting public health initiative, including specialised training.

“Local Ochre Health staff members are eager to ensure that those who are ready to be vaccinated can be vaccinated, and those who are unsure can have their questions answered to help them decide,” Tracey said.


The COVID vaccine rollout has begun in Bourke, with the first round of shots delivered last Wednesday.

Dr Siddique said the medical staff have already received their vaccinations and he has also received his jab.

“Fortunately, I haven’t had any side effects and hopefully it stays that way.

“There is a process involved in the vaccine rollout to ensure the appropriate number of vaccines for the appropriate number of recipients.

“People need to put themself on the waiting list, which is quite extensive, and then wait for their number to come up. You will be contacted for your appointment.

“We will continue to receive more vaccines according to the rate they are used. The more we use, the more we receive.

Dr Siddique says people are showing interest in having the vaccine, despite some negative news.

“It is a relatively new vaccine, and it is important for protecting people from catching the COVID-19 virus.

To receive a dose of the COVID vaccination, contact Ochre Health on 68723 222.