Friday, May 27th, 2022

Bunnings vaccinations hailed a success, but no reopening date set

Queensland says its push to get people vaccinated at Bunnings sites has been a massive success, as the race to get enough Queenslanders vaccinated before borders reopen continues.

Queensland recorded no new local cases on Sunday, with 28 active cases, all contained, and 6959 tests done in the 24 hours to Sunday morning.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says Queensland’s vaccine push is in the “home stretch”.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says Queensland’s vaccine push is in the “home stretch”.Credit:Matt Dennien

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said 19,641 vaccines were dispensed by Queensland Health on Saturday, 4111 of them at 33 Bunnings sites across the state.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the majority of those Bunnings doses – about 2800 – were first doses, which was a good sign that more people were heeding the call to get vaccinated.

Dr Young said the Bunnings sites, combined with jabs being given at the government’s vaccine hubs and pop-up clinics, as well as through pharmacies and GPs, meant the state was rapidly approaching the final phase of the vaccine rollout.

“We’re in the home stretch,” she said. “We’re over 70 per cent first dose, and I’m confident we’ll get over 70 per cent second dose.

“But now we’ve really got to push it so we get above that 80 per cent. I just can’t see how we can keep this virus out for much longer.”

Dr Young reiterated that her criteria for reopening would be for every Queenslander aged 12 and over to be at least given the opportunity to get vaccinated, which she believed would soon be the case, with the number of vaccine clinics around the state.

Asked whether the Queensland government should now set a firm date for reopening as an incentive to get more people to come forward to get the jab, Mr Miles said it was committed to the national plan, which has set reopening criteria for when states reach the targets of 70 and 80 per cent double-dosed.

But he said while Queensland was committed to the plan, NSW was going “off the plan”.
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“What we’ve seen in recent days is that NSW has torn up that national plan. The Prime Minister’s so-called national plan is in tatters now thanks to his buddy in NSW,” Mr Miles said.

“As soon as we reach those 70 and 80 per cent targets, the need for restrictions will be less. The difference is we’re not in lockdown here, whereas in NSW, they’ve had the motivation to get out of lockdowns.”

Just over 72 per cent of Queenslanders have now had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 56 per cent are now fully vaccinated with two shots.

Mr Miles said because Queensland had not yet hit an 80 per cent first dose rate, he could not say with certainty when the state was predicted to hit the 80 per cent double-dose target.

Current modelling suggests that double-dose target could be reached by late November.–new.pdf–new.pdf

After questions were raised last week about the number of ICU beds available for a surge in COVID-19 cases, Dr Young said it was adequate and that she believed the health system could handle such a surge.

But she said the best thing to do would be for people to get vaccinated, which would also reduce the number of ICU beds needed.

“We should be using the vaccine, not relying on ICU,” she said.,115218

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