The Cairns Post
Cairns rolls up for vaccination blitz
OPPORTUNITY to head interstate when Queensland’s border opens in December was strong motivation for hundreds of Far Northerners at the weekend to join an intensified push to hit a statewide 80 per cent double-dose rate.
A steady procession of people trickled into the Cairns Convention Centre clinic at the weekend in what punters described as a quick and easy process. A pop-up clinic at Cairns Central offered extra convenience for Saturday shoppers.
The mass vaccination hub led in the Far North jab stakes on Saturday by administering 478 doses.
A total of 316 people got jabbed at the Smithfield community vax hub, 222 at the Cairns South Health Facility and 18 at the Cairns Airport.
However, no vaccinations were recorded at the Mareeba and Innisfail hospitals.
Choosing to pass on the school-based Moderna vaccine rollout, 16-year-old St Andrew’s Catholic College student Alana Ramsey said being protected from expected new Cairns cases when borders opened to southern travellers was strong motivation to get vaccinated.
“Most of my family is in NSW and Victoria, so with getting a vaccine, you can go down there, they can come here and it’s safer,” she said.
On Sunday, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced Far Northern surf life saving clubs would join an intensified push to reach a double-dose target by December 17.
Pop-up clinics will open at 20 surf club locations across the state.
At the convention centre hub, Ms Ramsey’s father, Ken, said he wasn’t worried about businesses choosing not to admit unvaccinated people.
“It’s the same as the rule that says you can’t enter a pub without shoes or T-shirt. And in a restaurant – you can’t go into these places unless you have the proper attire on,” he said.
“It’s the choice that they have.
“If you want to frequent that premises, you must abide by their rules, it’s that simple.”
The electorate of Hinchinbrook leads the Far North in the vaccination states by recording 67.2 per cent of eligible citizens as being vaccinated. Cairns with 60.1 per cent double jabbed was close behind.
The community of Yarrabah is falling well behind the state average, with a 22.7 per cent rate fully vaccinated.
On Monday, the Cairns Airport pop-up clinic will be open from 6am to 2pm. The Cairns Convention Centre hub will be open every day from 8am-3.30pm. Atherton, Mareeba, Mossman and Innisfail hospitals open on Monday for vaccination at 8.30am.