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(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: QUEENSLAND: The man in charge of #COVID19 vaccination rollout says he is “really happy” with weekend turnout but warns vaccination rates in parts of regional areas will not meet targets set by the state government #AceHealthDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: The state has recorded no new COVID cases in the past 24 hours as officials in the state plan for the reopening of the state’s borders to fully vaccinated people in mid-December or when 80 per cent of Queenslanders aged over 16 have received two doses of a vaccine.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says according to ABC Radio Report: Regional Queensland set to miss 80pc #COVID19 vaccination target for state borders reopen, authorities warn

Headshot of Qld Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy says COVID complacency is a problem in many regional areas.(ABC News)

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy told ABC Radio Brisbane more than 13,000 Queenslanders got vaccinated at 113 of the schools that hosted pop-up clinics over the weekend as part of the state government’s “Super Saturday” initiative.

“We did 28,994 vaccinations on Saturday alone [across all vaccination hubs] so it shows that Queenslanders are there to still be vaccinated and are willing to come out,” he said.

“The mood was quite good at the schools, a lot of the schools really got into it and decided to put on cake stalls and things.”

Queensland Health said of those, 16,300 were first doses, 9,200 of which were delivered at the hubs at schools around the state.

Figures released by the federal government indicate there were 33,473 doses administered in Queensland on Saturday.

The state’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has previously said she wanted 50,000 doses go into the arms of Queenslanders each day.

Deputy Commissioner Chelepy said several regional areas are still “lagging behind”.

“I have got concerns around Rockhampton, Mackay, the Isaac region … a lot of our First Nations communities are still behind the vaccination rates for the state and the Premier has been quite clear we need those areas to get vaccinated,” he said.

“I think it’s a bit of complacency in those areas … they haven’t had COVID during the event, but time’s running out.”

Some regions may not hit vaccination target before borders open

Deputy Commissioner Chelepy also expressed concern about vaccination rates on the Gold Coast in the wake of a recent COVID scare in the area.

“Those rates on the Gold Coast are 70.4 per cent … they’re still a little bit behind the rest of Queensland,” he said.

“There’s a lot of 20- to 29-year-olds on the Gold Coast and we really need that cohort to be vaccinated.”

The Deputy Commissioner said lagging vaccination rates in some regions could mean they will not hit the 80 per cent double-dose target by the time the state opens up on December 17.

“We’re comfortable as the Deputy Premier said yesterday that, as a state, we’ll hit that target,” he said.

“I’m less comfortable that all areas across the state will hit those targets and I know there’ll be some of those areas — unless we see a massive turnout this week — there’ll be some of those areas that won’t hit that target.”

He said he attributed the low rates to over-confidence and complacency.

“I really do think it’s the fact that we’ve done so well during the last 18 months of COVID containing the virus,” he said.

“We’ve had an outbreak in Townsville and a little bit in Cairns, but in that central Queensland area we’ve had really nothing and I think it’s just pure complacency.”

Director of infectious diseases at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital Dr Paul Griffin told ABC Radio Brisbane he was “really concerned” about Queensland’s vaccination rate.

“Hopefully it’s not the case, but maybe our momentum is slowing down a little bit,” Dr Griffin said.

He said Queensland needed to replicate the vaccine rollout successes of southern states.

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#AceHealthDesk report …………Published: Oct.26: 2021:

“We really need to try to beat them with our rate here and at the moment being just over 60 per cent fully vaccinated means if we open up and our rate isn’t significantly higher than that then we will see a much greater impact from this virus in our community.”The COVID shock coming for QueenslandQueensland will throw open its borders to COVID-19 hotspots from December 17. But within 90 days the state will record about 200 deaths, according to the latest modelling. Read more

When the plan for reopening to interstate hotspots was announced last week, officials warned regions with low vaccination rates may face targeted restrictions and financial support would be lost if a big outbreak of the virus prompted restrictions.

“They may have to go into a lockdown, then they will be on restrictions and there will be no federal government support,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

This weekend, Queenslanders can get vaccinated at theme parks and surf clubs across the state.

“We’ll have the six big theme parks Movie World, Sea World, Australia Zoo, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Aussie World and Dreamworld doing vaccinations this weekend and we’ll also have 20 – at this stage — surf lifesaving clubs,” Deputy Commissioner Chelepy said.

“It’s a long weekend in Brisbane. We know a lot of people will go to the beach, we know a lot of people will go to our theme parks.

“This is a great opportunity to get vaccinated this weekend. It’s really the last weekend if you want to be fully vaccinated before we open in December.”

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