Far North Queensland music festival expected to offer vaccines upon arrival, reportedly Australia’s first

The music industry has felt the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic more intensely than most, but now a regional Queensland festival is using its platform to encourage festival-goers to get vaccinated.

Savannah in the Round will take place over three days in Mareeba, west of Cairns, this weekend and will feature artists like Sneaky Sound System, John Butler, John Williamson and Lee Kernaghan.

Organizers have partnered with the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Department to set up a pop-up clinic at the festival, which will offer Pfizer vaccines to people upon arrival on the ground.

Appointment, register and let’s go

Festival director James Dein said the clinic would be a first in Australia.

“The music industry has promoted, supported and pushed immunization through its own program, #Vaxthenation, and we thought it was a good idea and happy to support it,” he said.

He said construction started on a tent that would be used by nurses that day.

“As you walk through the front doors, shortly after that… we are building with a tent structure with proper flooring and workspace for the medical staff to operate on.

“It’s pretty easy, if I understand correctly, come in, sign up and go.”

Around 12,000 people are expected at the three-day festival.

Mr Dein said it was very different from last year, when the festival kicked off, when ravers were forced to sit at tables due to COVID-19 dance restrictions.

“This is his first year in this large format, it was a bit of a try.

“This year it’s the deal, you can dance at this festival, you can move around, you don’t have to sit still.”

Those who want to be vaccinated will need to bring their health insurance card.

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Do we really need booster shots for COVID-19?

Gerald R. Schneider

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