COVID-19 vaccination clinics are popping up across a range of major events, including footy games and music festivals, and now there’s a brand new place to get the jab — a bull sale. 

Key points:

  • The pop-up clinic is thought to be the first on-site vaccination service at a bull sale 
  • It is the latest in a series of regional Queensland events offering vaccines
  • A legislation change means pharmacies are now allowed to administer vaccines off-site

Australia’s beef capital is trialling an initiative where people at this year’s Brahman Week can pop in for a jab in between buying bulls.

In what’s understood to be an Australian first, graziers were this week offered the Moderna vaccine at the Gracemere bull sale, west of Rockhampton.

Tiana Games is familiar with rolling up her sleeves and the Baralaba business owner did not think twice about getting vaccinated.

“It seemed like a good opportunity to get it done; it’s convenient,” she said.

“They’re a great idea, especially at rural events where convenience is key.”

Legislation introduced late last month to boost Australia’s vaccination rates now allows pharmacies to deliver COVID vaccines off-site. They were previously restricted to delivering them in store.

A female pharmacist draws up a vaccine

Gracemere pharmacist Amelia Counahan hopes the pop up clinic at the Brahman Week sale starts a conversation around vaccines.(

ABC Rural: Ashleigh Bagshaw

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Pharmacist’s COVID cattle battle

Central Queensland has the third-lowest vaccination rate in the state.

At 57.7 per cent, Central Queensland’s first dose vaccination rate is only marginally better than Mackay Isaac Whitsunday (57.4 per cent) and Queensland Outback (54.4 per cent).

To boost vaccination rates, Gracemere pharmacist Amelia Counahan and her team set up a stall at the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever offered vaccines outside of the pharmacy itself as they updated the legislation about a week ago,” Ms Counahan said.

Ms Counahan said uptake was slow on the opening day of the Brahman Week sales, but slowly improved.

Across the opening two days, they had delivered the Moderna vaccine to 20 people.

“Most people I spoke to were fully vaccinated, which was amazing, and then others were quite keen and were like, ‘I’ll just call my sister, I’ll call my husband, we’ll come up and see you’, so it’s been really good,” Ms Counahan said.

Time is precious for livestock agent

It’s a busy time of the year for livestock agent William Conachan as bull sales ramp up around the country.

Mr Conachan was at the Brahman Week bull sale on Wednesday and the pop-up clinic provided the ideal opportunity to get the jab.

“This time of the year is pretty busy,” he said.

The bull sale vaccination clinic is the latest in an innovative approach to get the country vaccinated.

Rugby league fans attending the NRL elimination final between Parramatta Eels and Newcastle Knights in Rockhampton last month were offered the jab at a pop-up clinic at the ground.

A man holds a lollipop after receiving a COVID vaccination

The bull sale vaccination clinic follows a government-run pop-up clinic at an NRL elimination final held at Browne Park last month.(

ABC News: Russell Talbot

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The NRL followed it up with pop-up vaccine clinics at the NRL Grand Final while music festival-goers were able to get the jab at Savannah in the Round at Mareeba, west of Cairns, at the weekend.

Ms Counahan hoped the federal government’s move to allow pharmacies to administer COVID vaccinations off-site would open opportunities to deliver other vaccines away from the pharmacy.

“Hopefully that does in future extend to others so that we can go out and do a whole workplace in a few hours,” she said.

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Taking vaccinations by the horns: Bull sale vaccine blitz in the beef capital
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