A Bunbury nurse has become the first front-line health worker outside the metro area to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Senior nurse Amber Hargans was administered the Pfizer vaccine at Bunbury Regional Hospital’s vaccination clinic as the regional roll-out commenced on Tuesday. The vaccines, stored at ultra-low temperatures, were transported via police escort to Bunbury. “Today country WA reaches a really important milestone in our fight against the pandemic,” WA Country Health Service principal health officer Dr Helen Van Gessel said. “Amber has received the vaccination as our first health-care worker to do so and will now be safe from severe COVID infection. “Every WA resident will have the opportunity to become vaccinated but our first priority is those in phase 1A of the program, which is people who work at our borders, international airports and also our front-line workers like Amber. “These are safe and they are incredibly effective, so when you have an opportunity and you are eligible, I urge you to take that opportunity as the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, the community and those people that you love.” Ms Hargans was deployed to Broome at the height of the pandemic to help establish Broome’s COVID clinic, the second in regional WA after Bunbury. “It is a great privilege,” Ms Hargans said. “Health care workers across WA and the WA community have all worked so hard in the fight against COVID-19 and it is assuring that science has got us this far in such a short space of time.” A course of the vaccine requires two shots to ensure its effectiveness. Dr Van Gessel said Bunbury was chosen as the first location because of its proximity to Perth and also its international port. Expansion to Esperance, Geraldton, Karratha and Hedland would take place in the next two weeks. “We are geared up and ready to go and we will continue to change those plans to suit our availability as we get more,” she said.