South Australian government COVID-19 vaccination centres will throw open their doors to everyone eligible this weekend, including the Riverland Centra Plaza clinic in the Riverland town of Berri.

Key points:

  • The Riverland Central Plaza vaccination clinic in Berri will be open to walk in appointments over the weekend
  • Vaccination numbers in the Riverland are behind the state’s overall total
  • People willing to roll up their sleeves will be treated to a free sausage sandwich 

Riverland health authorities are welcoming the weekend “blitz”, which aims to boost immunisation numbers ahead of the reopening of the state’s borders.

Those looking to receive their first or second dose can head to the Berri clinic across the weekend without having to book.

Anyone heading along needs to bring their Medicare number, photo ID, a mask and a parent or caregiver if they are younger than 16.

As an extra incentive, the government will be providing a sausage sizzle in what it is saying will be a “carnival-like atmosphere”.

“The more people the better,” Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network chief executive Wayne Champion said. 

“The key to coping with COVID-19 and opening the borders is the vaccine.

“It is a great opportunity for people who couldn’t otherwise get vaccinated because they work Monday to Friday … or simply struggle with making a booking with an online system without the fuss.”

The SA government is handing out snags with jabs this weekend.(Alpha/Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Border community push

Sixty-one per cent of South Australians 16 and older are fully vaccinated and 78 per cent have had their first dose.

But in the Berri Barmera Council local government area (LGA), which has the highest double dose rate in the Riverland, those figures sit at 56 and with 77 per cent.

Vaccination rates in the Riverland are behind the overall state figures.(ABC News: Darryl Torpy)

The Renmark Paringa Council LGA has the lowest rates in the region, with a full vaccination rate of just 47 per cent.

The first does figure is sitting at 77 per cent.

Leaders are keen to see those numbers improve quickly in no small part due to the Riverland’s proximity to the Victorian border.

There have been two instances of COVID-positive interstate truck drivers stopping in the region and creating exposure sites.

Neil Martinson says border communities in particular need to protect themselves.(ABC Riverland: Samantha Dawes)

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the state government puts in a requirement — to cross over the border you’re going to need that double vaccination,” Renmark Paringa Mayor Neil Martinson said. 

“I remember as a kid having inoculations for different things that were child diseases and we managed to get rid of all those throughout Australia.

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