Townsville Bulletin

Townsville cracks 50pc

Spike after vaccine age expanded


MORE than 50 per cent of Townsville’s population has received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

New federal government data has revealed 52.5 per cent of the North Queensland capital’s population has had a jab, but only 35.7 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Queensland Health data shows the Townsville Hospital and Health Service had administer­ed 86,092 doses of the vaccine as of September 7.

Since the Covid-19 vaccine became available for anyone over the age of 15, the jab rates have been rising quickly as more people became eligible.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief executive Kieran Keyes said he wanted to see the number of people vaccinated continue to grow.

“This is great for the community and goes a long way to offer a level of confidence should there be a case of Covid-19 in Townsville,” Mr Keyes said.

Townsville GP Michael Clements said that he expected that by the end of 2021, every North Queensland­er who wanted to be vaccinated would have been offered one.

He said it was a bit unfair to compare Queensland’s vaccinatio­n rate to New South Wales because doses had been diverted there amid one of the country’s worst outbreaks.

“NSW have the emergency on their doorstep right now with Covid-19 walking the streets,” Dr Clements said.

“Their enthusiasm has been driven by fear, whereas what we’re trying to do here in North Queensland is get them to get vaccinated in preparatio­n for what is coming,” he said.

Dr Clements said most GP practices were only just beginning to receive Pfizer vaccines, with more on the way.

“We’ve been running our Pfizer vaccine clinics for some time now, there is such great enthusiasm and community engagement, people describe having waited a long time to get it and only just becoming eligible now and only just having appointmen­ts available now,” he said.

“I think that is the real reason we’re behind.”

>>> The Townsville Community Vaccine Centre at the old Joyce Mayne building is taking walk-ins this week.

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