Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

Queensland’s top doctor has demanded that Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government set a date for reopening the state’s borders as soon as possible in an attempt to boost vaccination rates.

Queensland President of the Australian Medical Association (AMAQ) Chris Perry said the government should release a reopening roadmap to give Queenslanders a deadline to be vaccinated and to provide guidance and safety to businesses, the healthcare system and society.

“They have to open,” said Dr. Perry to ABC Radio Brisbane.

“We’re all going to get COVID, we need to keep our tourism industry going.

“There’s a little lockdown fatigue, there’s a little vaccination fatigue. People, especially in the regions, are thinking, ‘She’s getting the right mate, it’s not coming here.’ That’s a good thing. “

He said it was inevitable that the Queenslanders would get COVID-19 when the borders reopen.

The stern warning comes as Queensland today registered zero locally acquired cases after conducting more than 10,530 tests in the last 24 hours.

Queenslanders told to ‘stand by their backs’ and be vaccinated

Dr. Perry said that while both the prime minister and the health minister have “suggested schedules”, it was time the Queenslanders had clarity on what vaccination goals need to be achieved to reopen the borders ahead of Christmas.

“We are asking the Prime Minister to give us a specific date, December 1, December 14, Christmas Eve, something so bookings can be made,” he said.

“And people can come from behind and go and get their very, very safe vaccine, so when they get COVID, they are not terribly ill, blocking the health care system and killing themselves or giving themselves long-term COVID.”

The AMAQ has called on the state government to make vaccinations compulsory and available at all health facilities and has expressed concern that Queensland’s vaccination rates are falling behind the national average.

“Get your vaccine because you’re going to get the disease when the border opens and you want it mildly or not at all,” he said.

“When I get it, I hope it will be a mild cold, I will not die of it, I will not have chronic fatigue syndrome, not be able to smell and taste food for the rest of my life.

“And of course, 7 percent of men can not have sex [after getting COVID-19), they have erectile dysfunction, that’s not age-related, that’s young men.”

Hospitals stretched beyond limit

Dr Perry said social media magnified side effects of the vaccine.

“I’m just sick of the conspiracy theorists, people say it’s not safe — there’s been over 3 billion people [who] have received the vaccine.

“In the age of social media, any potential mild headache or small, serious problems with the vaccines are magnified.

“We know they are incredibly, incredibly safe.”

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk talks about COVID-19 in Parliament
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says the COVID situation is becoming a “pandemic of the non-vaccinated”.(ABC News)

It comes as Queensland hospitals “are already stretched with emergency departments under stress and hospitals running at 105 percent capacity without COVID cases,” said Dr. Perry.

“We need to be ready for the COVID increase. We have enough fans, but we have enough staff trained to manage ventilated patients.”

Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament on Thursday that 70.99 per cent of eligible Queenslanders had been vaccinated with one dose, while 54.1 per cent had received two doses.

“I know this condition, I know that when bad things happen, good people come running,” she said.

“Today is a foretaste of the wet season that awaits, but in the coming days and months, roads will be cut off and communities may be isolated, so I say again: Get vaccinated now.

“The sound you hear from the millions of Queenslanders already in this match, do not pass the tent at Bunnings – roll up and give us a hand”.

The call comes after the government announced that several Bunnings stores across Queensland would participate in the rollout of vaccines earlier this week.

Everyone aged 12 and over is now eligible for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, with those over 60 eligible for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 59 can also choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Find a state-run vaccine hub closest to you here.

Or click here to find a doctor or pharmacist who administers the jab.

Queensland has a total of 30 active cases.

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