Brisbane lockdowns extended as vaccine almost runs out

 

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath has revealed the Gold Coast University Hospital was set to run out of vaccinations on Tuesday before a last-minute shipment of the Pfizer vaccine.

It comes as Greater Brisbane aged care homes, hospitals and disability services remain closed to visitors for another 72 hours as authorities remain on-edge over a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

Queensland has recorded two cases of COVID-19, both in hotel quarantine.

Ms D'Ath said the supply of doses was changing by the hour, making it difficult for the state to plan the rollout.

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk provides a COVID update at Gold Coast University Hospital today. Photo: Steve Holland
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk provides a COVID update at Gold Coast University Hospital today. Photo: Steve Holland

"There was real concern the GCUH would stop vaccinating," she said.

Ms D'Ath said frontline health workers, everyone within Phase 1A, would have received their first dose within the fortnight.

She confirmed some health staff from Phase 1B were being brought forward to prevent wastage, as revealed in The Courier -Mail today.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Dan Peled
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Dan Peled

Meanwhile, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said lockdowns would remain at Greater Brisbane hospitals, aged care homes and disability services facilities.

The extension comes amid fears people released from quarantine at the Hotel Grand Chancellor could have been exposed to COVID-19.

Queensland’s deputy chief health officer Dr Sonya Bennett. Picture: Jono Searle
Queensland’s deputy chief health officer Dr Sonya Bennett. Picture: Jono Searle

Deputy chief health officer Dr Sonya Bennett said hundreds of contacts of the Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor who was infected on Thursday have been tested.

Out of 400 contacts, 58 per cent have tested negative so far.

"We're feeling very reassured about those circumstances and how they're unfolding," Dr Bennett said.

Dr Bennett said CCTV from within the Hotel Grand Chancellor had not shown any breaches of COVID restrictions that could have caused the virus to spread between guests.

Dr Bennett said Queensland would continue the AstraZeneca vaccination amid some countries pausing their rollout.

"Every country is monitoring for safety and adverse events," she said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Gold Coast Health’s Dr John Gerrard watch as registered nurse Zoe Park gets the second COVID-19 jab. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Gold Coast Health’s Dr John Gerrard watch as registered nurse Zoe Park gets the second COVID-19 jab. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

"We can be reassured the process is going on and also reassured the vaccine is safe.'

Ms Palaszczuk said she would be "happy" to receive either vaccine.

It comes after The Courier-Mail revealed that non-essential health staff have received precious COVID-19 vaccinations while the state's frontline doctors struggle to schedule time for the jab.

Meanwhile, against the advice of health experts and the government, Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has called for Australia to suspend the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The backbencher has claimed it is "time" to follow some European countries, who have temporarily paused use of the AstraZeneca jab pending an investigation into a small number of blood clot cases among people vaccinated.



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