Queenslanders urged to ‘do much better’ in vaccinating as state records one new local COVID-19 case

“Now this is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Thursday. 

“The issue about this gentleman is that they were not vaccinated, they were potentially infectious in the community for up to 10 days, and we’re having further investigations.”

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The man is the first locally acquired case to be infectious in the community in Queensland for 16 days.

However, two interstate-acquired cases, which were not infectious in the community, were reported last Friday.

The case comes amid a vaccination drive in the state.

The government is preparing to set up 100 clinics at state schools this weekend before it eases restrictions on interstate travel in November and December.

“This Super Saturday vaccination blitz will be our state’s largest yet,” Ms Palaszczuk tweeted earlier on Thursday.

“We’re working hard to make it as quick and easy as possible for all Queenslanders to get vaccinated.”

There’s still concern about some regions, including the far north, where vaccination rates are lagging behind those in the southeast.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Craig Crawford is concerned about Indigenous Australians living in remote communities

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said.

Vaccination rates are low in “many but not all” remote Indigenous communities, and the government wants to see coverage rates well above 80 per cent.

The state’s drive to protect students from COVID-19 is part of a broader push to dramatically boost vaccination rates.

Up to 73.1 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have now received one vaccine dose, while 58.07 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

“Come on, Queensland. We have to do much better,” the premier said. “I am absolutely concerned about regional Queensland.”

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Liberal National Party Leader David Crisafulli said the premier had undermined confidence in vaccines and delayed the rollout, by putting off her own jab three times and avoiding the Astra Zeneca vaccine for months after she became eligible.

“The undermining of the vaccine in Queensland came about because of mixed messages,” he told reporters.

“The mad scramble that we’re seeing is only going to work if people see a pathway out of the pandemic.

“That’s about hope over fear, that to me is at its most simple form, and good governments bring people on the journey, bad governments try to scare them into action.”

Every Queenslander over the age of 12 is now eligible to be vaccinated.

The government will open up the state in three stages, with the first stage from 19 November, when 70 per cent of Queenslanders over 16 will have been double-dosed, allowing fully vaccinated people to do home quarantine.

On 17 December, or earlier if Queensland hits 80 per cent before then, fully vaccinated travellers can come without having to quarantine, although they must still return a negative PCR test before arrival.

At 90 per cent, the state will scrap quarantine for all fully vaccinated overseas arrivals.

With SBS News. 

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