DR DOUG QUARRY
Epidemiologists, health professionals and DouglasNews.Network have been warning for months that further outbreaks in Australia are inevitable, particularly as winter arrives. Our “she’ll be right, mate” attitude is naive.
The current COVID outbreak in Melbourne is a wake-up call for Australia; until we have a high levels of vaccination coverage, Australia remains vulnerable to outbreaks, with lockdowns and border closures.
The most likely cause of this and future outbreaks remains our inability to fully control airborne transmission of the virus in hotel quarantine locations. Remember these are just hotels without specialised air conditioning airflows used in hospital isolation wards.
Speeding Up Australia’s Vaccination Program
• Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly is studying holding back second doses to focus on getting first doses into more younger adults
• The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is actively monitoring the possibility of offering AstraZeneca vaccine to the 40-49 age group should the Victorian outbreak worsen
• Victoria is now offering Pfizer vaccine to the 40-49 age group
• Qantas plans to offer Qantas Frequent Flyer points or flight vouchers to Australians who have been vaccinated.
How to Get Vaccinated Locally
• Mossman Medical Centre: running a Saturday morning COVID vaccination clinic starting 5 June, 2021
• Cairns Base Hospital has a vaccination clinic – currently supplying Pfizer vaccine. Call 1 800 861 836
• Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service has a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic providing only Pfizer vaccine around the region – local dates are as follows:
27 May: Mossman Hospital
15-16 June: Mossman Gorge (may move to Mossman Hospital)
6-7 July: Cow Bay
19 August: Mossman Hospital
22-23 September: Cow Bay
Updated times can be found here: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/cairns_hinterland/covid-19-chhhs-information