From lockdown to launch, Brisbane welcomes first vaccine

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

The very first COVID-19 vaccine was delivered in Brisbane today, with Princess Alexandra Hospital coming online as the second of Queensland’s six Pfizer hubs.

The milestone follows the successful launch on Monday at the Gold Coast University Hospital and precedes the launch at Cairns Hospital on Friday.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said: “Brisbane had come a long way since its three-day lockdown in January.

“I’m really excited to bring our second Pfizer hub online this week. We have worked so hard for so long to get here. I am also really excited about the launch of the Cairns hub this Friday.

“We’ll continue to keep Queenslanders informed as we roll out this vaccine across Queensland.”

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said all six Pfizer locations would be online by early March.

“Pfizer was the first vaccine to be approved by the TGA and was the first we received from the Australian Government,” Dr Young said.

“We have had to move quickly to ensure that those who are in the highest priority groups have access to a vaccine as soon as possible – these Pfizer hubs allow us to do just that.

“But I must be clear, the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has now also been approved by the TGA, is also safe and effective.

“I would gladly, and will gladly, receive either vaccine when it is my turn in the queue.”

Director of Infection Management Services at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Dr Geoffrey Playford said today’s launch was massive step forward for Brisbane on the pandemic journey.

“The hospitals across our region and our teams working with quarantine hotels played a major role in managing the 329 positive COVID-19 cases on the southside,” Dr Playford said.

“This is in addition to the mammoth effort in the Metro South catchment where over 500,000 COVID-19 tests were undertaken – this is almost 100,000 more than any other catchment in Queensland.

“Our staff and the tireless efforts of our Public Health team have played a significant role in managing the pandemic so we are very pleased to deliver the first COVID-19 vaccines in Brisbane,” he said.

All Hospital and Health Services will be vaccinating those belonging to Priority Group 1a.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will soon be distributed to Queensland by the Australian Government.

This will allow for a much broader distribution of vaccine, and more locations will come online, including more hospitals, GPs and pharmacies.

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