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Class action: Vax hit squads to set up in 100 Queensland schools in blitz jab rates blitz


Vaccination teams will be sent into 100 schools across Queensland as the state prepares to reopen its borders.

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With just 10 days remaining in the vaccination “window” – where people receiving their first dose will have time to be fully vaccinated when borders open on December 17 – the government is preparing to transform 100 high schools into mass vaccination clinics for the “Super Saturday” blitz.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the plan to open schools as vaccinations clinics was targeting areas with lower vaccination uptake across Cairns, Townsville, Wide Bay, Central Queensland, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Metro South and Metro North.

“Super Saturday is our largest vaccine push to date,” Palaszczuk said.

“If you’ve been saying you’ll just wait a bit before getting the vaccine, it’s time for you to come forward and get vaccinated now.”

Education Minister Grace Grace is forging ahead with a targeted plan to get shots into the arms of students, with a particular focus on those aged 12 to 15.

“We are rolling out vaccination centres throughout over 100 schools in Queensland,” she has told reporters in Cairns.

“We’ll be nominating and announcing schools right throughout the state.”

The drive to protect students from COVID-19 is part of a broader push to dramatically boost vaccination rates state wide.

There’s concern for some regions, including the far north where vaccination rates are lagging behind those in the southeast corner.

There’s also concern for First Australians living in remote communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Craig Crawford says.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” he’s told reporters when asked if he’s satisfied with jab rates in Indigenous communities.

He said vaccination rates were low in “many but not all” remote Indigenous communities.

“But we’ve also got other towns as well, which are falling behind. What we want to find out is what’s the local reason for that.”

He said vaccine supplies were ample and there’s no shortage of places where Queenslanders can have their jabs.

“We need to get those numbers up. We recognised very very early in the COVID pandemic that Aboriginal people, or First Nations people I should say, are very prone to this virus.”

He said the government wanted to see vaccination rates among First Nations people well beyond 80 per cent.

“We still have a long way to go in the 16-29 year-olds and that is both in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.”

Every Queenslander over the age of 12 is now eligible to be vaccinated.

The government will open up the state in three stages, with the first stage from November 19, when 70 per cent of Queenslanders over 16 will have been double-dosed, allowing fully vaccinated people to do home quarantine.

On December 17, or earlier if Queensland hits 80 per cent before then, fully vaccinated travellers can come without having to quarantine, although they must still return a negative PCR test before arrival.

At 90 per cent, the state will scrap quarantine for all fully vaccinated overseas arrivals.

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