InQueensland

NEWS •⁠ POLITICS •⁠ BUSINESS •⁠ CULTURE

Get InQueensland in your inbox Subscribe

Dragging the chain: While other states surge ahead with jabs, Qld 'light years away'

News

Queensland has achieved a major milestone in its vaccination rollout but remains light years away from where it needs to be, the health minister has warned.

Print article

Just over 40 per cent of all eligible Queenslanders have now had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, offering them some level of protection.

But it’s the other 60 per cent who have no shield against the deadly virus that has Yvette D’Ath pleading for action.

“Don’t wait. Get vaccinated today … please look at all of your options,” she told Queenslanders on the opening day of a mass vaccination hub at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“We watch in sadness at what’s happening in NSW. There continues to be, on average, one person dying from COVID every three days in NSW.”

Just over 22 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had two doses and are fully vaccinated.

That will steadily rise with more supplies from the Commonwealth arriving from this week, but it’s still a long way off what’s required for life to return to something resembling normal.

“As soon as we’ve got 70 per cent of our adults, 16 years plus, vaccinated, we’ll be able to do things so much more differently,” Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young told reporters on Wednesday.

Anyone aged 16 and over can register for a vaccine with Queensland Health. They’ll then be offered a booking when one arises.

The register will be used to prioritise jabs for people who are most at risk but younger Queenslanders could get a quick call up.

“We’re going to try, of course, to pull in the higher priority people. But I will never ever leave a booking slot vacant. So if we’ve got spare bookings and there’s only (registered) teenagers we can pull in, that’s who we’ll pull in,” Dr Young said.

Children aged 12 to 15 with serious underlying issues, such as cystic fibrosis and lung transplant recipients, can now also get vaccinated with Pfizer, with that process being managed by the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

There was more good news for Queensland on Wednesday with no new cases of COVID-19 in the far northern communities of Cairns and Yarrabah, allowing a three-day lockdown to lift.

But residents must abide by heightened restrictions until 4pm on August 22, including mandatory mask-wearing, masks for high school students, and limits on home gatherings.

There were only four new cases in Queensland on Wednesday – all linked to the Indooroopilly cluster in the southeast. None were active in the community while infectious.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk seemed genuinely surprised that Queensland appears to have gotten off so lightly after the cluster came to light on July 30.

In all it has spawned 120 infections but an eight-day lockdown and the quarantining of more than 12,000 people seem to have it under control.

“Who would have thought a week ago we would be in this position today?” the premier said. “Well done Queensland. It’s absolutely tremendous.”

Wednesday’s four new cases were an adult household contact of a student at Brisbane Boys’ Grammar School, a teenager who attends that school, a student at Ironside State School, and a student at Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School.

More News stories

Loading next article