Gladstone and Banana Shire Director of Medical Services Dr Dilip Kumar receives the first AstraZeneca COVID vaccination in Gladstone on March 17, 2021. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone and Banana Shire Director of Medical Services Dr Dilip Kumar receives the first AstraZeneca COVID vaccination in Gladstone on March 17, 2021. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Less than 1% half-vaccinated as COVID scare grips CQ

Twenty days after the first Central Queensland COVID vaccination was administered, less than one per cent of the region’s adult population have received their “first” vaccine dose at local hospitals.

Nobody in Central Queensland is fully vaccinated against the global pandemic yet, as the AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses to be administered, 10 to 12 weeks apart.

Queensland Health Data released on Wednesday revealed 1603 AstraZeneca vaccinations had been given across the region’s five main hospitals.

Gulam Khandaker receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine in Rockhampton.
Gulam Khandaker receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine in Rockhampton.

That equated to 0.971 per cent of the people Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQHHS) Chief Executive Steve Williamson said they hoped to vaccinate (165,000 adults) at the rollout.

In the defence of CQHHS and Queensland Health, they can only supply the vaccines they have been given by the Federal Government.

Even accounting for the several CQ medical centres “giving the jab”, less two per cent of CQ adults would be partially vaccinated.

The nation is currently in phase 1b of the vaccination rollout, for adults over 70, First Nations people over 55, frontline health, emergency services and quarantine workers and adults with medical conditions.

The startling vaccination revelation comes after it was revealed on Monday, March 29, that a COVID positive former Gladstone man returned “home” to visit family from March 25 to 28.

Mr Williamson said while the current vaccine rollout was only for adults aged 18 and over, the Therapeutic Goods Administration was conducting trials on vaccines for children.

“The vaccination in Central Queensland is AstraZeneca, that is the intention, that is the provision that is available, so there won’t be other vaccines available in Central Queensland at this point,” he said.

“In Central Queensland that’s about 165,000 people over the course of the next few months that will get two doses.”

At the vaccination rollout, Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Minister, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher stressed the State Government was doing its best with the vaccination program.

He said he wasn’t concerned about reports the vaccination rollout had been too slow.

“You can only deliver what you’ve got and we’ve been waiting to get these vaccines from the Federal Government,” he said.

“We are seeing this rolled out here in a strategic way and the Central Queensland Health and Hospital service is playing a huge part in this rollout.”

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Steve Williamson, Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Minister, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Gladstone and Banana Shire Director of Medical Services Dr Dilip Kumar at Gladstone Hospital's West Wing after Dr Kumar received the first AstraZeneca COVID vaccination in Gladstone. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Steve Williamson, Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Minister, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Gladstone and Banana Shire Director of Medical Services Dr Dilip Kumar at Gladstone Hospital's West Wing after Dr Kumar received the first AstraZeneca COVID vaccination in Gladstone. Picture: Rodney Stevens

According to Queensland Health, CQ has had 12 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, which was officially declared by the World Health Organisation on March 11, 2020.

There are currently 37 active quarantine notices across the region from a total of 2200 that have been issued.

The Observer has requested current Gladstone and Central Queensland COVID testing data from Queensland Health.

HospitalVaccinations

Biloela 57

Capricorn Coast 145

Emerald 142

Gladstone 361

Rockhampton 898

Source Queensland Health

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