Annastacia Palaszczuk drops ANOTHER major hint Queensland could open its borders before Christmas
- Queensland premier said next six weeks of state’s vaccine rollout are ‘critical’
- Annastacia Palaszczuk holds concerns about vaccine rates in regional areas
- The state is currently closed to NSW and Victoria but open to other states
- A number of Bunnings stores are set to be used as vaccine hubs to boost rollout
The state recorded no new virus cases on Thursday morning after more than 10,000 tests in the previous 24 hours.
Ms Palaszczuk is yet to set any date or vaccination threshold for the state borders to reopen to virus hotspots in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, but she’s been making hints this week.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) said the next six week are ‘critical’ for state’s vaccine rollout but is yet to commit to opening the border to NSW and Victoria
Almost 71 per cent of eligible Queenslanders had received one dose of a vaccine and 54.1 per cent were fully vaccinated by Tuesday, but the premier is concerned about coverage outside the southeast.
She again urged unvaccinated Queenslanders to get a first dose by mid-November with those who do get the jab by then due for a second dose in early December.
‘We are seeing our vaccination rates increase in Queensland, but there are parts of Queensland in regional communities in central Queensland, out at northwest, up in the northern parts of our state, indigenous communities, that we need to make sure are protected,’ Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Thursday.
‘So now we need a huge drive, I’ve said the next six weeks are critical, for Queenslanders to get that first dose.’
The premier’s warning comes after she hinted on Wednesday night that November 17 was seen as a cut-off date for people to get their first jab.
‘We’ve done all we can to keep you safe – but this next step is up to you,’ Ms Palaszczuk wrote on Twitter.
‘We cannot protect you if you won’t protect yourself.
‘I need you to get vaccinated and I need you to get it now.
‘It takes five weeks from the first dose to be completely vaccinated.
‘Five weeks from today in the 17th of November – that’s getting very close to Christmas.’
Several Bunnings stores (pictured) in Queensland have been announced as vaccine hubs in an effort to boost the rollout
Earlier this week the Queensland government said COVID-19 vaccines will be rolled out at Bunnings stores in a bid to boost uptake as the state prepares to eventually reopen the borders.
Ms Palaszczuk says her government is finding new ways to bring protection to the state’s population and vaccine clinics will begin at Bunnings retailers this weekend.
‘So families can get their Bunnings sausage and a dose of vaccine,’ the premier told parliament on Tuesday.
More than two dozen Bunnings have been identified across the state, stretching from the Gold Coast, inland to Dalby and as far north as Cairns to boost the state’s jab rate.
Meanwhile, government MPs called for Liberal National Party leader David Crisafulli to dump health spokeswoman Ros Bates from the shadow cabinet over her links to an anti-vaccination group.
The border remains closed to southern states but Ms Palaszczuk seems to be hinting at lifting border rules by December (pictured: a border checkpoint at Coolangatta in September)
Ms Bates, who supports vaccination, is a member of the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, which is associated with the Red Union Support Hub which espouses anti-vaccination views.
Treasurer Cameron Dick called for Mr Crisfulli to sack her from her position for undermining vaccination.
‘So this is a test for the leader, will he stand up the vaccination, will he stand up our economic recovery, or will really stand up for those people who aid and abet, and shelter, with organizations that promote anti-vax senitment,’ he said.