Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

On Saturday, there were eight days left in Queensland for the COVID-19 countdown of 80 percent of people over the age of 16 who were double-vaccinated, so did the opening of 116 schools as vaccination hubs across the state on Saturday be a great success?

The Queensland government hopes yesterday’s figures will help narrow the divide between Brisbane and the regions when it comes to vaccination rates.

It intends to open the border on 17 December, regardless of whether the double-dose vaccination rate for the eligible population aged 16 and over hits 80%.

The state government wants to ensure that Queensland gets as close to the 80 percent milestone as possible.

Education Minister Grace Grace said yesterday that the government is working to raise vaccination rates.

“[It’s] Super Saturday [for vaccinations] “We have 116 schools open this morning,” she said.

“I know it sometimes takes some time for the message to get through, and as I have said, we have stood up every single day as a government and called on people to be vaccinated, especially our young people and especially, [people from] our rural and remote [areas]. “

Statistics released Saturday by the federal government showed that 74.56 per cent of eligible recipients in Queensland have received their first dose and 60.01 per cent of people aged 16 and over were fully vaccinated.

But in Mackay, only 66.8 per cent have received their first dose, and 49.6 per cent are fully vaccinated, well below Brisbane, where 64 per cent have received both doses.

In Brisbane, families hit the sidewalk at Cavendish Road State High School in Holland Park yesterday, which had a reasonable queue for much of the morning.

Andrea Sotiriou said the opening of the school in the morning made it “super convenient” for her daughter, Alexia, to get her first dose of the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccination hub is on the ground behind the queue of people at Brisbane School.
Cavendish Road State High School in Holland Park had a reasonable queue for much of Saturday morning.(ABC News)

“They were amazing in there, I must say. We had a pediatric nurse to help us, so she was really helpful to Lexi, gave us all the information we needed, and made her feel super comfortable,” she said.

Alexia said other teens should consider getting the vaccine.

“It does not hurt. You do not have to worry about it. It is literally over and done within seconds,” she said.

But what about the vaccine hubs set up at regional schools?

In northern Queensland, a volunteer from the State Emergency Management Agency (SES), Michael Beazley, said it was a “slow flow” of people lined up for vaccinations at Mackay North State High School.

However, that was another story at Andergrove in Mackay, where people waited up to an hour for a vaccine at Pioneer State High School.

People are queuing up for COVID-19 vaccination at Pioneer State High School.
People waited up to an hour for a vaccine at Pioneer State High School in Mackay.(ABC News: Tegan Philpott)

Miner Corey Daws said it was “good to get it out of the way”.

“It’s also a duty to work, so it’s something I had to do, and I feel like I have to do it anyway,” he said.

Back in Brisbane, Saturday resulted in long queues at the vaccination hub of the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Center.

However, teenager Alex Brown found a silver lining while waiting in line.

“I’m really glad the community is willing to do this just to play their part, it’s really good to see,” he said.

Vaccine numbers from the last 24 hours are expected to be released later today.

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