Health authorities have praised vaccination efforts at the Queensland-NSW border after nearly 800 walk-in essential workers received their dose in one day at a jab hub on the Gold Coast.
The rollout was ramped up this week before a new restriction on vaccine requirements comes into effect for workers needing to cross the border in the state’s southeast.
From 1am on Saturday, essential workers required to travel into NSW and back will need to have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine as the crisis in NSW escalates.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath acknowledged the efforts to ensure the remaining unvaccinated critical workers had received their protection from the deadly virus from one of the Queensland mass vaccination hubs.
Some clinics were reportedly allowing all walk-in recipients to be given a vaccine in exceptional circumstances, but authorities stressed the importance of all Queenslanders to register online for their dose.
“I do want more people registering for their vaccine,” Ms D’Ath told reporters on Friday morning.
“So if you’re not booked in with your GP or not booked in or going to a community pharmacy, please book in with one of the state vaccination centres by getting registered.
“If you’re not registered, you can’t get a booking.”
The Broadbeach vaccination hub had 1199 bookings on Thursday but went above and beyond to provide 1915 vaccinations.
“So they took almost an extra 800 walk-ins to ensure those essential border workers are vaccinated,” the Health Minister said.
“We have clinics right across the border, including regional towns, that are offering vaccinations for the community.
“We saw yesterday we’ve got people coming to the Logan Entertainment Centre, to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and also Ipswich getting those vaccinations who are essential border workers.”
Chief health officer Jeannette Young on Friday eased the urgency to roll out the AstraZeneca jab by increasing the time between the first and second jabs from eight weeks to 12 because the state is “not in an outbreak”.
The top doctor also reiterated the new eligibility rules for the Pfizer jab announced by Scott Morrison on Thursday.
Australians aged 16 to 39 will be able to access Pfizer vaccines from August 30 after a boost to supply of the vaccine was confirmed earlier in the week.
“Here in Queensland, I ask you all to register,” Dr Young said to the younger residents in the state.
“Then we can manage those bookings because I do not want an empty slot in any of our vaccine clinics. I want to pull people in so we can fill every single slot.