Vaccine complacency in Queensland and other states not hard hit by COVID-19 lockdowns is a major concern for the Australian vaccine rollout leader as the state records low uptake rates in some rural and regional areas.
Most important points:
- With easy access to COVID-19 vaccines, authorities are concerned about complacency
- Lieutenant General John Frewen says states without lockdowns are lagging behind on vaccinations
- Fares in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are all behind NSW and Victoria
The commander of the COVID task force, Lieutenant General John Frewen, told ABC Radio Brisbane on Wednesday that Queensland’s largely Delta-free status was a “golden opportunity” for people to stand up and get vaccinated against the virus. virus.
“We are at a turning point in the rollout campaign, where we are shifting from a supply-based system to a demand-based system,” said General Frewen.
However, he warned that the window was limited as other states open up and live with Delta, while pressure on Queensland to open its borders was likely to increase.
His comments come as Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Wednesday there was “no excuse” for not getting vaccinated with more walk-in appointments.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young will also travel to Central Queensland to work on raising vaccination coverage.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said she wanted to see higher vaccination rates in Ipswich, Logan and Beaudesert and the Sunshine Coast, as Brisbane’s local government area has tipped off more than 70 percent of vaccinated first doses.
“The Secretary of Health and Dr. Young will go to Central Queensland, Mackay and Rockhampton to urge those communities to increase their vaccination coverage,” she said.
“We need this to be a major Queensland effort.
From Tuesday, according to federal figures, Queensland had vaccinated nearly 50 percent of the eligible population with a double dose, the lowest rate nationally at less than one percent between Queensland and Western Australia.
NSW and the ACT have the highest rates of dual dose eligible populations nationally, reaching 70 percent in NSW today.
General Frewen said that while vaccine hesitancy was a concern, he was encouraged that 90 percent of people indicated they intended to get their shot.
‘Significant’ problem with complacency
However, he said complacency was a concern especially Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.
“Complacency is a very important issue, especially in the states where there just haven’t been significant outbreaks,” he said.
Queensland health officials have begged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible and have been offering walk-in vaccinations in many of the state-run centers in recent weeks.
On Tuesday, the state government sent massive text messages to Queensland residents urging them to get vaccinated.
Nationally, Australia has vaccinated 80 percent of the first dose and nearly 60 percent a double dose.
But the ABC revealed on Tuesday that regional Queensland had very low vaccine rates, including the Far North, where only 32.5 percent of the 26,319 residents were fully vaccinated.
The Northern Bowen Basin and Central Queensland also reported low double doses, while even around southeastern Queensland, in Browns Plains, only 35.4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Specific groups targeted
General Frewen said that now that the supply chain problems have been resolved, the focus should be on people who have delayed their vaccine or were still hesitant.
“We’re really going to have to focus on specific groups and try to figure out why they’re hesitant, why they’re complacent and what might affect them best,” General Frewen said.
“These things will never be a one-size-fits-all.”
Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca are now available over-the-counter at more than 10,000 primary care clinics, state-run centers and pharmacies across the country, and with no restrictions for anyone over the age of 12, General Frewen said now was the time for people to to get a shot.