COVID-19

Anna drops Christmas border hint

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday night posted a curious tweet noting that the holiday season was just around the corner and urged people to help lift the state’s lagging Covid vaccination rate. “It takes five weeks from the first dose to be completely vaccinated,” she wrote.“Five weeks from today is the 17th of November, that’s getting very close to Christmas.” The cryptic message comes after Health Minister Yvette D’Ath on Monday said it was the state’s mission to get jabbed “in the next five to six weeks” if it wanted border restrictions to ease. That takes the state through to mid-November.Queensland on Thursday recorded a ninth straight day without a local Covid case, with another 17,187 vaccines administered. The state has so far refused to commit to a reopening date, drawing criticism from state and federal Coalition opponents as well as business and tourism groups. But Queensland’s government is proud of its record – especially compared with NSW and Victoria – as the state has stamped out several worrying clusters over the past two weeks.The state’s border travel bubble with six northern NSW local government areas was also reinstated on Wednesday.But Ms Palaszczuk has flagged concerns over the vulnerability of children who are unable to be vaccinated and has asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to increase hospital funding and announce a plan for the rollout of Covid booster shots before she can open the state back up.The state’s patchy regional vaccination rate is also a concern. The 80 per cent double-vaccination figure flagged at national cabinet might not being enough.Queensland has 71 per cent of people aged over 16 with a first dose, ahead of only the Northern Territory, while the state’s 54.1 per cent double vaccination rate is only ahead of Western Australia. Regional Queensland areas are lagging the cities.

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