As the state government embarks on a campaign to increase vaccination rates, a Gold Coast GP has been forced to temporarily close his daily Pfizer clinic due to low demand.
- Dr Natasha Yates says there is an “urgent” need to tackle misinformation and hesitation about vaccines
- Queensland has always had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country
- State government campaigns to improve rates with concerns over healthcare capacity
Dr Natasha Yates, who is also an assistant professor of general medicine at Bond University, said the decision was “frustrating” and “confusing”.
“It’s not just my clinic,” she said.
“My practice director said that all week she had been receiving messages from other practices saying that they had had the same thing.
Although she was encouraged by the demand seen at local vaccination centers in recent weeks, Dr Yates said many GP clinics have seen the opposite more recently.
“Sometimes canceling clinics, sometimes only half the people show up, sometimes having to get rid of Pfizer or ask if someone else can take care of them before they’re expired,” she said. declared.
Queensland behind the “eight balls”
Data from the Melbourne Institute suggests 25% of adults in Queensland are reluctant to get vaccinated, below the national average of 15%.
Just over 45% of eligible adults on the Gold Coast were fully vaccinated, behind the Sunshine Coast with 52.3% and Brisbane West with 62%.
The state average on Thursday morning was 49.53%, among the lowest national alongside Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Dr Yates said Queensland is “still really behind in the understanding and uptake of vaccines”.
“It’s understandable, but it’s very narrow-minded and short-sighted.”
Close windows, notify the authorities
COVID task force commander Lt. Gen. John Frewen has warned of complacency, suggesting Queensland’s window to improve vaccination rates close as pressure mounts to reopen borders.
Speaking today on a regional campaign to increase the number of vaccinations, Health Minister Yvette D’ath said Delta would eventually spread to Queensland.
“We need everyone to come together to get vaccinated,” said Ms. D’ath.
Queensland did not register any new local cases today, but public health chief Jeannette Young said there was a need to “speed up” the vaccination.
“It’s going to start to spread, we can’t stop it, the only thing stopping it is the vaccination,” she said.
“It takes five weeks from your first dose of Pfizer to be fully protected, it takes six weeks from your first dose of Moderna.
“No one knows where we will be in five or six weeks.”
Need to fight disinformation
Dr Yates said “there is still a lot of misinformation circulating,” but incentives may need to be offered to improve demand.
“I’m still scratching my head because people always ask me about fertility or the long-term side effects of the vaccine,” she said.
More than six billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide according to John Hopkins University, which, according to Dr. Yates, provides “very good evidence”.
“We have to realize that there are groups of people probably in silos just listening to each other, who still have all of these misconceptions about what the vaccine does and what COVID does or doesn’t do,” he said. she declared.
“Now we have to cancel appointments and we have expired vaccines, it’s ridiculous, we have to do something urgently.”