The man leading the vaccination roll out in Queensland is confident the state will reach its 90 per cent target by “very early next year” as confusion over travel restrictions in the Sunshine State continues.
Queensland has recorded no new locally acquired cases again today; however, a flight crew member in hotel quarantine has tested positive.
While vaccine operations coordinator and Acting Deputy Commissioner Shane Chelepy admits Queensland is lagging when compared with immunisation rates in southern states, he is confident the state can reach 80 per cent in time for the December 17 deadline, when state borders open.
Queenslanders have just three days to get their first jab to give themselves enough time to get the second and be fully protected by the time interstate travellers are welcomed back.
"New South Wales and Victoria, they'll get to 90 per cent before us.
“But if you look at New South Wales, they were in a lockdown for eight weeks, so they really had an incentive to come out and get their freedoms back.
"There are so many variables that will lead us to 90 per cent.”
However, there is widespread anger within the tourism industry over potential delays to quarantine-free international travel to Queensland due to the government’s 90 per cent vaccination rate requirement.
Until the state reaches that target, international arrivals will have to do two weeks quarantine in Queensland. However, in New South Wales and Victoria, international arrivals who are doubled-dosed won’t have to isolate at all, provided those states have 80 per cent of people vaccinated.
Police Minister Mark Ryan says: “If Queenslanders want to reunite, they need to keep coming out and getting vaccinated.
“In Rockhampton, it improved four per cent in a week… but that is still not good enough, we need to lift it quicker."
Thursday 28 October – coronavirus cases in Queensland:— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) October 27, 2021
0 new locally acquired cases, detected in Queensland overnight.
1 new overseas acquired case, detected in hotel quarantine. #covid19 pic.twitter.com/bxF4uzNU3E
In Parliament this morning, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk again warned of a Covid storm fast approaching.
"A tsumani of COVID cases will follow people who are coming in from interstate and we must get prepared and we must get vaccinated."
The vaccination has never been more accessible, she pointed out, with clinics being set up at surf carnivals, caravan and camping expos, Bunnings stores, schools and other community events across the state this weekend.