Did you miss a COVID-19 vaccine this weekend in Queensland? It’s not too late

As the days tick by towards December 17, an important vaccination milestone for family and friends entering the state in time for Christmas, pressure is mounting to get Queenslanders fully vaccinated.

With that date only six and a half weeks away and 63.5 percent of the population over the age of 16 fully vaccinated, 16.5 percent are missing to meet the 80 percent fully vaccinated criteria set out in the government’s incremental reopening.

A powerful vaccine rollout is underway, and this weekend saw surf clubs, colleges and theme parks offering accessible pop-up vaccination centers after Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk last week called on Queenslanders to be vaccinated over the weekend to “protect itself” .

Professor of Infectious Diseases at Griffith University, Nigel McMillan, said authorities had been liberal in designating Sunday as D-Day for vaccinations prior to the reopening of the border.

A man sitting in an office with a computer showing an illustration of the COVID-19 virus
Virology professor Nigel McMillan in Queensland says there is some leeway at the expected time for another dose to be effective.(ABC News: Liz Pickering)

“They give two weeks at the end of your second dose for full effect, and we know it’s about 10 days, so there’s probably four or five days of play on it,” Professor McMillan said.

“They have been very generous with that timing, but nonetheless, you really want to start your vaccinations sooner rather than later.

“What we experience is often that people only get vaccinated when cases suddenly show up in the local area, and by that time, of course, it’s getting way too late.”

There are plenty of doses available, according to the deputy director of health care, dr. Lynne McKinlay.

Man wearing blue suit with glasses
Dr. Paul Griffin says there are plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated. if you are not there when the borders are open, it will be on you.(Delivered)

Mater Queensland’s head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Paul Griffin, said that no matter what borders are reopened, anyone who is not immunized should be.

“We want to make sure that people understand that it will be far better to be vaccinated before the borders open, so we have as many people prepared as possible,” said Dr. Griffin.

“But if for some reason you have not had that opportunity, it is still much better to be vaccinated as soon as you can, instead of now thinking that you have missed that window of opportunity.”

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Professor McMillan said Queensland Health’s pop-up clinics – which took the vaccine “to the people” – across Queensland had to continue.

“We’re getting to the point of rolling out the vaccine, where if you are not vaccinated after the borders are opened, it’s really up to you. You’ve definitely had plenty of options,” he said.

Border restrictions will ease from Dec. 17, regardless of whether the state has hit its 80 percent double vaccination rate, but Professor McMillan is convinced the state can reach the milestone early.

“The modeling I’m looking at would say we would probably do it a week or a week and a half before December 17 if we continue. [as we are],” he said.

Dr. Griffin, however, is not so sure.

“I think it’s going to be really challenging,” he said.

“But I also think that when we start to see the boundaries open and we start to see cases in our community, we need to make sure that we continue to get the vaccine to as many people as possible back then.

“I suppose there will be a slight increase in the number of people seeking the vaccine when they see what we have told them is actually coming true, in the form that there are cases, in the form of the people who who unfortunately get sick from this virus and especially the unvaccinated people. “

‘We must have clear freedoms’

With so much emphasis that Sunday is the deadline to be vaccinated, Dr. Griffin that there was now a danger that people would think it was too late to be vaccinated.

“I definitely think it’s a risk … and I think what we need to do is show people what the differences will be in the next few weeks and months between vaccinated and unvaccinated people,” he said. .

“We must have clear freedoms that vaccinated people have achieved and ensure that people understand what they are.”

Professor McMillan said daily COVID-19 case numbers would increase in the new year.

“We’re looking at cases starting to rise in January, and we should probably see a peak for cases sometime in February,” he said.

“Then it starts to go away and die down again [and] it is likely to happen in early April.

“In terms of peak numbers, models are only as good as your data, but if I were to guess, at this stage we would see cases probably in hundreds instead of tens.

“But our hospitalization rates will be much lower because we want such a high vaccination rate.”

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