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Minggu, 21 Februari 2021

COVID-19 vaccine rollout begins in Queensland, as nurses, police inspector receive first jabs on the Gold Coast - ABC News

A nurse who works in the Gold Coast University Hospital COVID-19 ward, was the first person in Queensland to receive the coronavirus vaccine today.

Nurse Zoe Park is among 180 recipients to receive the vaccine along with police Inspector Owen Hortz.

"I hardly felt it. I feel like the flu shot hurt a lot more," Ms Park said.

"It's a really exciting time for all health care workers and Queensland."

Ms Park said she felt safer going to work now having received the vaccination.

"I've seen families be torn apart from it, it's really sad what it's done to the patients affected and families," Ms Park said.

"It's really scary for health care workers to be going home and potentially exposing their families to that as well, so this [the vaccine rollout] is very exciting.

"I'm way more confident now to be able to go home and be with my family."

It comes more than a year after Queensland had its first confirmed case of coronavirus in January 2020 — a 44-year-old Chinese national who tested positive at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Thousand to be vaccinated in coming weeks

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the vaccine was a "new weapon" in the fight against COVID-19.

"COVID will be here for a long time, but it's how do we live with it? How do we make sure anyone who gets COVID doesn't get seriously ill and end up in an ICU?" Ms Dath said.

"This is the answer. We have 5 million Queenslanders here and if we want to keep 5 million Queenslanders safe we need you to get vaccinated."

Thousands of vaccine doses touched down in Queensland yesterday, with more than 1,000 people set to receive the needle in the first week.

About 125,000 people in total will be vaccinated under category 1a, which covers health workers, border staff and hotel quarantine staff.

Three recipients sit in socially distanced chairs and give thumbs up.
The three first recipients to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Gold Coast University Hospital.(ABC News)

Ms D'ath said the rollout would begin at the Princess Alexandra Hospital on Wednesday and at the Cairns Hospital on Friday.

Next week the rollout will extend to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Townsville University Hospital.

A close up of the vials of the COVID-19 vaccine with mist around them.
Thousands of vaccine doses touched down in Queensland yesterday.(Supplied: Queensland Health)

The Gold Coast University Hospital's Director of Infectious Diseases Doctor John Gerrard told ABC Radio Brisbane the rest of the population would be vaccinated as soon as possible.

"My experience is there are thousands of people who want it. There are people knocking on our door every day to say, 'When am I going to get my vaccine?'. So we are doing whatever we can to get it out as safely and efficiently as possible," he said.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said she didn't expect to see a vaccine rollout a year after announcing the state's first positive cases.

"I desperately, desperately hoped this would be where we'd be," Dr Young.

"I didn't think we'd reach it, so today is just absolutely fantastic.

"It is just brilliant."

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Play Video. Duration: 2 minutes 34 seconds
Australia's 5 phase vaccine rollout begins

Vaccine to 'ease pressure' on police

Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said police had been working with Queensland Health regarding the vaccine roll-out for police personnel.

"Our plan going forward is for all of our staff who are working in quarantine hotels, at the airport, or indeed any staff that visit those areas, to get them vaccinated as soon as they can," he said.

He said quarantine hotels were a "risky environment" but the vaccine would ease the pressure on police.

"Our staff so far have been unscathed, but … the reassurance of having them vaccinated will be a weight off all of our minds," he said.

Ms D'ath said over the coming months everyone 18 years and older would be offered a vaccination.

It comes as Queensland recorded two new overseas acquired cases — both in hotel quarantineand more fragments of the virus were detected in wastewater at Kawana on the Sunshine Coast over the weekend.

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2021-02-21 22:29:25Z
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