BRISBANE, Australia — Australia’s Queensland government has launched a drive to fully vaccinate all private aged care and disability workers in the state against Covid-19 within three weeks.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says any aged care worker can get the Pfizer vaccine at one of 18 hubs across the state from Saturday.
“We will be calling on all residential aged care and disability workers to come forward and register so that we can get them booked in for this weekend to get vaccinated,” she said.
“If they do that, it means in three weeks’ time we can have our aged care workforce fully vaccinated.”
The move comes amid concern about the speed of the rollout in private aged care, which is a Commonwealth responsibility.
D’Ath said those hubs would also be open to people aged 40-49 who have registered to get the jab.
“Don’t just walk in,” the minister said.
“If you don’t have a booking, you’re not getting vaccinated.
“This is so we can get everyone who has already put in a register of interest in those age groups, and our priority group, of course, to get vaccinated.”
Queensland hit a record 9131 vaccinations on June 2 with D’Ath hopeful that 15,000 jabs can be administered on the weekend.
The minister said it was too early to open up the vaccinations to everyone who wants one.
She said vaccine supplies were still insufficient to broaden the vaccine drive.
“We will expand as quickly as we can, based on the volume of vaccine, remembering we haven’t opened up to everyone at this stage, simply because we don’t have the volume in this country,” D’ath said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is also due to have her first Covid-19 vaccine dose on Monday after weeks of concern about her possibly being hesitant.
She said in fact, she was actually “vaccine central” at the moment after getting her flu shot two weeks ago, and tetanus shot one week before that.
Palaszczuk said she needed a tetanus jab after being accidentally bitten by her own dog Winton.
“It wasn’t deliberate or anything, he was just playing with me in the backyard,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Sonya Bennett said a hotspot declaration would remain in place for the state of Victoria for another seven days at least.
People in Queensland who have visited exposure sites in New South Wales and the Jervis Bay Territory are also being urged to get tested and quarantine.
“One of the cases yesterday, certainly, that traveled to New South Wales still doesn’t have an epi-link there, so they don’t know where the infection was acquired, and for that reason in Queensland, we’ve decided to keep the current border restrictions in place,” Bennett said.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Nikita Nikhil. Map by Urvashi Makwana)
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