Vaccine Story: The journey a vaccine takes to a remote Australian community

Mrs Lyn Byers1, Mr Tobias Speare1

1Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association Inc. (CARPA), Alice Springs, Australia


The purpose of the presentation

The presentation raises awareness of a short freely available health promotion video, Vaccine Story. It tells the story of a vaccine’s journey from a supply centre to administration in a remote Aboriginal community in a novel, engaging and culturally appropriate manner.

The nature and scope of the topic

The video is aimed at anyone involved in the process of transporting vaccines to remote communities. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the need to maintain the cold chain and the threats to the cold chain, including recognition of environmental, organisational and logistical challenges associated with getting vaccines to remote communities. The video highlights the additional risks associated with transporting vaccines to remote communities as a stimulus for people involved in the process to seek clarification and ask questions. An explanation of how vaccines work is provided in plain English to give the message significance; this is why you should care that the esky is packed correctly or why you should check a bus is going to the community on a particular day.

The issue or problem under consideration

The effectiveness of many vaccines is dependent on correct storage. Recent research in Central Australia has highlighted questions regarding the integrity of the vaccine cold chain to remote Aboriginal communities.

The outcome or the conclusion reached

The Vaccine Story video addresses some of these concerns through strengthening  the understanding of the importance of the cold chain among those involved in the transportation and storage of  vaccines. In doing so this will attempt to mitigate the doubts of health care staff and end users regarding breaches of the cold chain.


Lyn Byers is a Nurse Practitioner in the speciality of Remote Area Nursing, a Midwife and Mental Health Nurse. She has worked in Central Australia since 2001 as a Remote Area Nurse, midwife and mental health nurse. She chair’s the editorial committee for the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals and is secretary for CARPA.  She is also a CRANA+ board member.  Lyn is passionate about delivering high quality primary health care in remote areas and promoting the work remote area clinicians do in difficult circumstances.