LEAHY: Will regional QLD get vaccine at same time as hubs?
The Warrego MP has taken her first question time opportunity to ask if non-metropolitan residents will have an opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as their city counterparts.
The southwest MP Ann Leahy asked Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath if regional Queenslanders in the 1b and 2a categories will get their shots at the same time.
Individuals who will get the vaccine in Phase 1b are those with higher risk such as people over 70, Indigenous people over 55, younger adults with underlying medical conditions, and critical and high risk workers like police, defence, and meat processing.
Phase 2a will be for those with a moderate risk, like all Indigenous adults and other critical and high risk workers.
Ms D'Ath said in response to a previous question from Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke, that the Pfizer vaccine will go to 37,000 in six hubs across Queensland’s five biggest cities: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, and Cairns.
“They have to be our priority group,” Ms D'Ath said.
“The hubs are not set up specifically to roll out to the general population, so the general population do not need to be concerned whether they live near a hub or not because the hubs
are specifically for that vaccine for that cohort.
“Once we move into 1b, we will start moving the vaccine out into the community once we have received the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Commonwealth - whether it is produced here in Australia or whether it is arriving on our shores.”
She said the federal government is negotiating with GPs to see who will offer the vaccine.
The vaccine will be delivered to regional and remote communities so they don’t need to go to the major hubs, Ms D'Ath said.
“They will not have to worry about coming to the hub; we will take the vaccine to them.”
In response to Ms Leahy’s question, Ms D'Ath accused her of not hearing her answer before.
“We are rolling this out across the state. It is really disappointing that those on the other side want to play politics with the rollout of the vaccine,” Ms D'Ath said.
“If the member for Warrego wants to know if GPs in her area are going to be delivering the vaccine, then she should talk to the Commonwealth, which has done the expression of interest with GPs.
“We will not just start with southeast Queensland and then move north; no, we will be rolling it out across the state.”