Every now and then there comes along a really rewarding story … and every now and then that story throws up a ‘special’ pic.
Last week, for me, this job threw up one of ‘em.
I thoroughly enjoyed being allowed to document the ‘door to door’ Covid-19 vaccination program in the far northern indigenous community of Yarrabah. Orchestrated by the Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service, the operation was startling and well organised … teams of doctors and health workers went from home to home to inform and vaccinate the indigenous population that had been lagging far behind in Covid-19 vaccination numbers.
Following behind the vaccination teams was a pink ice cream van … complete with musical ‘Green Sleeves’ tones … dispensing free ice cream to the newly vaxed and the communities numerous children.
In my favourite image of the day (top below), 67 year old Leanne Bulmer sits in her home with her ‘vaccination ice cream’ after receiving her shot of Pfizer from a doctor on her verandah. I nearly missed it … a health worker spirited Leanne a choc coated soft serve … and I overheard him casually mention it. Leanne was delighted to allow this portrait before her ice cream melted in the tropical heat.
In the second image Dr Peter Roach vaccinates elderly Yarrabah resident Raymond Davidson in his home assisted by health worker Belita Kynuna. The bottom pic shows 19 year old Sherrie Bligh as she is vaccinated by nurse Susie Jarman and enjoys her free ice cream at her Yarrabah home, watched by 2 year old Cleo Costello.
The later publication of seven of my images and story link on The Australian’s Instagram account accrued over a thousand ‘likes’ …but, sadly. also led to a stream of readers ‘comments’ (inexplicably to me) highly critical of the vaccination program and the newspapers coverage.
Nevertheless, the ‘door to door’ program proved to be a big success with many residents having their fears allayed and taking the vaccination plunge. All that ice cream just sweetened the deal.
Images © Brian Cassey