Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

The man in charge of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout says he is “really happy” with the turnout, but warns that vaccination rates in parts of the Queensland region will not meet targets set by the state government.

The state has not registered any new COVID cases in the last 24 hours, as state officials plan to reopen state borders for fully vaccinated people in mid-December, or when 80 percent of Queenslanders over the age of 16 have received two doses of a vaccine.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy told ABC Radio Brisbane that more than 13,000 Queenslanders were vaccinated at 113 of the schools that hosted pop-up clinics over the weekend as part of the state government’s “Super Saturday” initiative.

“We made 28,994 vaccinations alone on Saturday [across all vaccination hubs] so it shows that Queenslanders are there to still be vaccinated and are willing to come out, ”he said.

“The atmosphere was quite good at the schools, many of the schools really went into it and decided to take cake stalls and things on.”

Figures released by the federal government indicate that 33,473 doses were administered in Queensland on Saturday.

State Health Chief Jeannette Young has previously said she wanted 50,000 doses to go into the arms of Queenslanders every day.

Deputy Commissioner Chelepy said several regional areas are still “lagging behind”.

“I have concerns about Rockhampton, Mackay, the Isaac region … many of our First Nations communities are still behind the vaccination rates for the state, and the Prime Minister has been fully aware that we need these areas to be vaccinated,” he said.

“I think there’s a bit of complacency in these areas … they have not had COVID during the event, but time is running out.”

Some regions may not reach vaccination targets before the borders open

Deputy Commissioner Chelepy also expressed concern over vaccination rates on the Gold Coast in the wake of a recent COVID terror in the area.

“Those rates on the Gold Coast are 70.4 percent … they’re still a little bit behind the rest of Queensland,” he said.

“There are a lot of 20- to 29-year-olds on the Gold Coast, and we really need that cohort to be vaccinated.”

The deputy commissioner said delayed vaccination rates in some regions could mean they will not reach the 80 percent double-dose target when the state opens on Dec. 17.

“We are fine when the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday that we as a state will hit that target,” he said.

“I am less confident that all areas of the state will hit these targets, and I know that there will be some of these areas – unless we see a massive turnout this week – there will be some areas that do not. will hit that target. “

He said he attributed the low rates to overconfidence and complacency.

“I really think it’s the fact that we’ve done so well over the last 18 months of COVID containing the virus,” he said.

When the reopening plan for interstate hotspots was announced last week, officials warned regions with low vaccination rates could face targeted restrictions and financial support would be lost if a major outbreak of the virus led to restrictions.

“They may have to go into a lockdown, then they will have restrictions and there will be no federal government support,” said Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk.

This weekend, Queenslanders can be vaccinated in theme parks and surf clubs across the state.

“We are getting the six major theme parks Movie World, Sea World, Australia Zoo, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Aussie World and Dreamworld vaccinated this weekend, and we will also have 20 – at this point – surf lifesaving clubs,” said Deputy Commissioner Chelepy.

“It’s a long weekend in Brisbane. We know a lot of people will go to the beach, we know a lot of people will go to our theme parks.

“This is a great opportunity to get vaccinated this weekend. It really is the last weekend if you want to be fully vaccinated before we open in December.”

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