Annastacia Palaszczuk Drops ANOTHER Major Hint Queensland Could Open Its Borders Before Christmas
- Queensland Premier said the next six weeks of the state’s vaccine rollout are ‘critical’
- Annastacia Palaszczuk worries about vaccination coverage in regional areas
- The state is currently closed to NSW and Victoria, but open to other states
- A number of Bunnings stores will be used as vaccine hubs to drive rollout
Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has again hinted that state borders could reopen to COVID-19 hotspots before Christmas, saying the next six weeks of the vaccine rollout will be critical.
The state registered no new virus cases on Thursday morning after more than 10,000 tests in the past 24 hours.
Ms Palaszczuk has not yet set a date or vaccination threshold for state borders to reopen for virus hotspots in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, but she has hinted this week.
Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) said the next six weeks will be ‘critical’ for the state’s rollout of the vaccine, but has yet to commit to opening the border to NSW and Victoria
Nearly 71 percent of eligible Queensland residents had received one dose of a vaccine and 54.1 percent were fully vaccinated on Tuesday, but the Prime Minister is concerned about coverage beyond the southeast.
She again urged unvaccinated Queensland residents to get a first dose in mid-November and those who did get the shot should get a second dose in early December.
“We are seeing our vaccination coverage increasing in Queensland, but there are parts of Queensland in regional communities in central Queensland, in the North West, in the northern parts of our state, Indigenous communities that we need to make sure they are protected,” Ms. Palaszczuk told parliament on Thursday.
“So now we need a huge drive. I said the next six weeks are crucial so that the people of Queensland get that first dose.”
The prime minister’s warning comes after she hinted on Wednesday night that November 17 was seen as a deadline for people to get their first shot.
“We’ve done everything we can to protect you, but this next step is up to you,” Ms Palaszczuk wrote on Twitter.
“We can’t protect you if you don’t protect yourself.
“I want you vaccinated and I want you to get it now.
“From the first dose, it takes five weeks to be fully vaccinated.
“Five weeks from today, November 17th — that’s very close to Christmas.”
Several Bunnings stores (pictured) in Queensland have been announced as vaccine hubs in an effort to boost rollout
Earlier this week, the Queensland government said COVID-19 vaccines will be rolled out in Bunnings stores to boost adoption as the state prepares to eventually reopen borders.
Ms Palaszczuk says her government is finding new ways to protect the state’s population and will start vaccine clinics at Bunnings retailers this weekend.
“So that families can get their Bunnings sausage and a dose of vaccine,” the prime minister told parliament on Tuesday.
More than two dozen Bunnings have been identified in the state, stretching from the Gold Coast, inland to Dalby and as far north as Cairns to increase the state’s number of jab attacks.
Meanwhile, government MPs called for Liberal National Party leader David Crisafulli to dump health spokeswoman Ros Bates from the shadow cabinet over her ties to an anti-vaccination group.
The border remains closed to southern states, but Ms Palaszczuk appears to be hinting at lifting the border rules by December (Photo: A border checkpoint near Coolangatta in September)
Ms Bates, who supports vaccination, is a member of the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, which is affiliated with the Red Union Support Hub which promotes anti-vaccination views.
Treasurer Cameron Dick called on Mr Crisfulli to dismiss her from her position for undermining vaccination.
“So this is a test for the leader, will he stand up to the vaccination, will he support our economic recovery, or will he really stand up for those people who help and help, and shelter, with organizations promoting antivax senitment,” he said.