Qld vaccines ‘on track’ despite lagging behind NSW
QUEENSLAND is lagging behind NSW on the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations but the state government says it is meeting its targets.
Figures obtained by The Courier-Mail show NSW had delivered 10,084 vaccinations by February 27, 72 per cent of its 14,040 allocation received last Monday.
Queensland had delivered 2030 vaccinations to frontline workers in that time, just 22 per cent of its 9360 allocation received.
But Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the state government had set itself a target of 2000 doses for the first week - which it had met.
"The RBWH is commencing tomorrow (Monday) and (we) will have Sunshine Coast and Townsville coming on near the end of the week," she said. "I'm cautious about predicting numbers as we go forward, but I have no doubt once we've got AstraZeneca in large numbers we will be able to be vaccinating tens of thousands of people a week."
Ms D'Ath said staff administering the doses had gone through multiple simulations.
"They can't practise with the real thing because we don't want to waste the real thing," she said.
At least 3000 jabs are expected to be administered in the coming week.
With the Metro North Pfizer hub, at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, set to begin its rollout today, the hospital's head of infectious diseases has revealed his relief that he will no longer be a danger to his children.
Dr Krispin Hajkowicz will receive the shot today, on his 45th birthday.
"What a difference a year makes. On my birthday last year I was actually sick in my stomach as the first Australian died from the COVID-19 virus that day and I watched in horror what was going on in Italy. I was ill thinking of what was to come," he said,
"I'm so relieved for the staff at the hospital that they will be protected. These people have lived all year exposed to the deadly virus. Nurses and wardies will get the vaccine first on Monday."
The RBWH is treating 40 per cent of the active cases in Queensland and that equates to only two cases.
"Queensland has done so well. Thankfully we have not lost any patients at the hospital but we have had four very serious cases. This is a birthday I will never forget," he said. "I am excited that I won't have the fear of passing on the virus to my family. That has been a big worry for all the staff. It has been a year full of anxiety."
Cairns Hospital, Townsville Hospital, RBWH, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Gold Coast University Hospital will be the state's Pfizer vaccine hubs.
The federal government's own vaccination schedule of aged care homes is behind schedule after a bungle last week which saw two elderly Queenslanders given four-times the recommended dose.
It led to a slowdown of the rollout as Healthcare Australia, the contractor responsible for the aged care rollout in Queensland and NSW, was forced to review its processes and practices.
Mr Hunt said about 120 aged care homes had been fully vaccinated, well short of the 240 facilities initially intended for the first week.
Mr Hunt also expressed frustration with Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles, who has taken a combative stance on vaccination and quarantine proposals.
"I would respectfully say now is the moment where we all have a higher duty to make the point that in this role, in this time, at this moment of history, all of the partisan elements have to fall away," he said. "We have to be one single country focused on COVID protection and vaccine confidence.
"That's my gentle reminder to the particular state official who unfortunately has something of a history of extravagant comments focused on trying to provoke outrage, such as ripping up contracts on the floor of parliament with another state."
Originally published as Qld vaccines 'on track' despite lagging behind NSW