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CHO eyes ambitious vaccination target for Queensland


As Queensland records no new locally-acquired cases of coronavirus, the state’s top doctor says she wants the vaccination rate to hit 95 per cent.

After another super Pfizer weekend, 69.98 per cent of eligible Queenslanders now have one dose of the vaccine and 52.25 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Eighteen Queensland schools ran vaccination hubs in regions with low immunisation rates over the weekend, helping to jab more than 4,000 people.

However, chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young says her goal is to reach a 95 per cent vaccination rate across the state to ease pressure on hospitals once borders reopen.

She wants the same rate of vaccination among adults as is the case among Queensland’s children.

Dr Young is adamant it has nothing to do with setting mandatory targets to end to border and social restrictions, saying it is simply the vaccination level she would like to aim for.

“I believe in Queensland that we should be aiming for 95 per cent; we have more than 95 per cent of our children fully vaccinated and I believe adults can do every bit as well as our kids.

“It’s nothing to do with borders or restrictions, it’s purely where I want people to aim.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath supports the target, saying achieving the highest rate possible is what will save lives.

“If you are not vaccinated, you are not protected… doesn’t matter if we hit the 80 per cent mark.

“We don’t want to get 400 deaths like we’ve seen over four months in New South Wales.

“If we can vaccinate 95 per cent of our kids, why can’t we do that for our adults?”

Complacency in regional QLD still an issue

Having visited regional towns last week in a bid to promote the importance of getting jabbed, Dr Young says it is clear complacency is still a serious issue.

“Having gone through Mackay and Rockhampton at the end of last week, I can see that there are a lot of people thinking that this hasn’t impacted on them.

“It’s a long time since they’ve had any cases, so I can see why people were a bit complacent.”

But she warns as the state starts to reopen, more and more coronavirus cases will be recorded in every pocket of Queensland.

Health authorities are evalutating the success of the school vaccination hubs to see if other schools in small towns should also be running vaccination clinics.

Brisbane airport deemed hotspot

Queensland Health announced Brisbane Airport as a close contact site on Sunday afternoon, after a case recorded in New South Wales visited the domestic terminal on Friday.

The infected passenger flew from Sydney to Brisbane on Friday on Virgin Airlines flight 917 and did not have a valid border pass to enter the state.

They were taken into hotel quarantine at Novotel at the airport, before being sent back to Sydney on Saturday.

The person subsequently tested positive.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski say the officers who stopped the passenger at the airport have gone into isolation for testing. 

An investigation into whether the person should be fined for a potential border breach is under way, he says.

“Generally speaking, we only take enforcement against people who deliberately try to deceive the system.”