This week North West Hospital and Health Service welcomed the first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines and what a time for Mount Isa and the region.
Whether you're for or against the vaccine, this was a historic moment for the region as we were one of the first rural and remote centres in Queensland to be approved to administer the vaccine.
Health care workers were the first to receive the jab and it was great to see everyone rolling up their sleeves for the greater good of the North West community and the nation.
Even though North West Queensland has been lucky enough not to have had a case of COVID-19, it does not mean we are out of the woods yet.
We still have a long road ahead before we could be completely rid of this deadly disease.
As we have seen over the weekend, it does not take long for another cluster to pop up (in this case Brisbane) and quickly spread to outlying communities.
The roll out of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Mount Isa has been met with backlash from anti-vaxers and concerned residents.
And I can understand locals being cautious of a new vaccine when this is the first time we have ever needed to find a cure to mitigate something as extreme as a global pandemic.
But is it possible we have been sheltered into a false sense of security by having not witnessed first hand the impact of this deadly disease on our community?
Is it possible that the views of North West anti-vaxers might change if we were to have an outbreak in the region and locals impacted by the disease?
I think we need to be mindful of what other communities and countries have and are experiencing before we completely disregard a vaccination that could help save the lives of our loved ones.
This is not a time for us to be complacent in our actions, and we should continue to do all we can to reduce and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our families, friends, community and region.
- The North West Star Senior Journalist, Samantha Campbell.