COVID-19 vaccine rollout begins in Queensland


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The COVID-19 vaccination is now available in Queensland and in the first phase (1a) of five, frontline health care and quarantine workers, residents in care facilities will be vaccinated, and will encompass a reported 678,000 recipients.

There has been no mention when, or if, the vaccine will be available in the Shire.

A spokesperson for Queensland Health said: “Timings regarding the vaccine rollout are very dependent on vaccine supply by the Australian Government.”

The Australian Government is in charge of selecting, buying and regulating the COVID-19 vaccines, said the spokesperson.

“They are also responsible for transporting vaccines to vaccination clinics, specifying priority populations for vaccination and, in Queensland, vaccinating aged care residents and workers, as well as disability care residents and workers.

“When vaccinations begin for the general population, the Australian Government will also deliver the vaccine to other approved providers, including GPs and pharmacies, across the state.

“The Queensland Government is responsible for administering the vaccine at selected state-run clinics, such as public hospitals, nominated to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Every hospital and health service in Queensland will be providing vaccinations in Phase 1a. The rollout will begin with the Pfizer vaccine at the following locations:

  • Gold Coast University Hospital
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • Sunshine Coast University Hospital
  • Townsville University Hospital
  • Cairns Hospital
  • Residential Disability and Aged Care Facilities (managed by the Australian Government).

According to the spokesperson, Queensland has begun a staged delivery across the state after receiving the first Pfizer vaccines from the Federal Government.

“Gold Coast University Hospital is the first vaccination hub in Queensland. This week and next week, as more vaccine supply arrives, we’re rolling out vaccines to Phase 1a priority groups at the Cairns Hospital, Townsville Hospital, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital and the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.”

According to a Queensland Government website, Queensland's vaccine strategy is guided by the COVID-19 vaccine National roll-out strategy.

“The Queensland rollout aims to protect our most vulnerable Queenslanders, protect and maintain a robust health system and contain COVID-19 at our international borders by protecting priority frontline health care, border and quarantine workers.

“We aim to give every eligible Queenslander the opportunity to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.”

For the initial weeks of the program, Hospital and Health Services will establish lists of phase 1a eligible people. Those on the list will be invited by the HHS to make an appointment for vaccination at their nearest vaccination hub.

From mid-March, eligible people will be able to book online via Queensland Health’s digital solution for vaccination at a Queensland Health vaccination hub. If you are part of this group you will receive an email or letter with an invitation code and instructions on how to book an appointment.

Information on how to book for people in other priority groups will soon be available.

COVID-19 vaccine rollout phases:

  • Phase 1a: Frontline health care and quarantine workers, residents in care facilities
  • Phase 1b: Individuals with higher risks
  • Phase 2a: Individuals with moderate risks
  • Phase 2b: Rest of adult population
  • Phase 3: Children and young adults

The spokesperson said the Department of Health is working with all Hospital and Health Services on planning and preparing for the vaccination rollout.

“As larger supplies of AstraZeneca vaccine become available, expected from mid to late March, the vaccination program will be progressively expanded across Queensland.

“People living in Queensland’s regional, rural and remote regions will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest possible opportunity.

“More locations will come online; including more hospitals, and GPs and pharmacies will deliver the vaccine to more Queenslanders, as safety and quickly as possible.”

The Queensland Health spokesperson said the vaccine effort is the greatest in global history. Vaccine supplies are limited, and Australia must prioritise who receives the vaccine, and when.

More information can be found at Queensland Health. 

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