As the wet season approaches, now is the time to get vaccinated before it’s too late.
With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting the potential for floods and cyclones this summer, time is running out for Queenslanders to get vaccinated, especially those who live in northern and central regions of the state.
“Severe weather could make it difficult for many Far North Queenslanders to get vaccinated this summer,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“I’m urging all Queenslanders – but particularly those in the Far North of our state to get vaccinated now.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said health experts were concerned about the ramifications of severe weather on the vaccination rollout due to the increased likelihood of La Niña development in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
“We all know that Queensland is prone to floods and cyclones each year, which often means widespread damage, interruption to services and road closures – and often our northern and central Queensland communities are worst impacted due to cyclones and flooding,” Minister D’Ath said.
“Right now, we are offering as many vaccination clinics as we can in rural and remote communities across the state – but there may come a time this summer when it’s not safe or possible to get our vaccination teams into certain communities due to severe weather or natural disasters.
“While we have been visiting our rural and remote regions to administer vaccinations, we know not everyone has come forward to be vaccinated yet.
“There’s absolutely no reason to delay the vaccine – COVID-19 will come to our regional communities, it’s just a matter of time.
“Head along to your nearest vaccination clinic, or if your community is serviced by a vaccination outreach clinic – please make it a priority to get vaccinated when they’re next in your community.”
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said thanks to the way Queenslanders had responded to the pandemic, the state had an ideal window in which to vaccinated.
“With cyclone season looming, it’s more important than ever to get out and get a jab,” he said.
“This is particularly crucial for those of us living in vulnerable communities like Yarrabah.
“Getting vaccinated will help to save lives when, inevitably, we see more COVID cases in Queensland.”
Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said it was also important to remember that natural disasters might mean evacuations.
“While all evacuation centres will operate under COVID Safe Plans, the best way to protect you and your family against COVID-19 is to be vaccinated,” he said.
“Remember you need at least three weeks between each vaccination dose and then another two weeks for the vaccine to offer maximum protection.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy urged Far North Queenslanders to get vaccinated now.
“The perfect time to get vaccinated is right now,” he said.
“We all know how devastating the storm season can be here in the Far North.
“There’s no telling what summer has in store for us, so please, get vaccinated as soon as you can.”
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the vaccination clinics were well stocked and ready for Far North Queenslanders.
“We have the supply and we have plenty of capacity to vaccinate more people,” she said.
“The message is clear. Don’t hesitate – vaccinate.
“Vaccinations save lives. We need to protect our community before we see more Delta cases in our state.”
There are a number of outreach clinics visiting the state’s rural and remote communities in coming weeks across northern and central Queensland, with locations including Mt Morgan, Cloncurry, Clermont, Cooktown, Charters Towers, Mapoon, Wujal Wujal, Napranum, Laura, Mornington Island, Urandangi, Dajarra and Doomadgee.
This is in addition to established community vaccination centres in locations such as Cairns, Mossman, Innisfail, Atherton, Mareeba, Townsville, Mt Isa, Rockhampton and Mackay.