Young people are scoring vaccinations months early and those over 50 who are afraid of the AstraZeneca shot are getting Pfizer injections instead – so would you like to stand in line?
- Phase 1a, 1b and 2a of vaccine rollout underway across Queensland
- Young Queenslanders jump in line by entering hubs
- Older residents walk in and get Pfizer instead of AstraZeneca
Young Australians are already getting vaccinated and those over 50 are getting Pfizer shots as hubs are ditching the old rules and using up vials that would otherwise go to waste due to Australia’s slow vaccine uptake.
The reluctance of many Australians to get their scheduled shot due to fears of side effects, lack of incentives, and older people waiting for Pfizer or Moderna shots later this year meant that many vials of the rapidly expired vaccines would go to waste.
To counter that, the hubs in Queensland changed the rules and gave the shots to younger people who had to wait longer for their vaccines, and are giving Pfizer to people over 50 who are expected to receive AstraZeneca.
Pictured: Covid-19 vaccine queues in Queensland after Victoria cluster to 60. was swollen
An elderly woman and her partner told 9 News they were ‘lucky’ [because] today is the first day they had Pfizer, and we’re here.”
Last week, Queensland Health confirmed that hubs will vaccinate outside of the priority groups, so opened doses will not be lost.
“Every dose of Covid-19 vaccine is precious,” a Queensland Health spokeswoman said.
As a result, walk-ins are often not questioned about their suitability for the vaccine.
An elderly woman and her partner told 9 News they were ‘lucky’ [because] today is the first day they had Pfizer, and we’re here,” she said. Pictured: People queuing to get the jab in Queensland
Infectious disease expert Dr Krispin Hajkowicz gets vaccinated on March 1 during a Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine rollout at STARS Metro North Health facility in Brisbane
According to reports from The Age, the same has happened in Melbourne amid a terrifying wave of new cases that peaked at 60 on Wednesday.
The state extended short-term eligibility for the vaccine to people in their 40s, while queues ran to thousands.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Acting Prime Minister James Merlino used strong and colorful language to describe the coronavirus when he announced that Victorians would not be released from their homes on Thursday night.
A nurse holds up a syringe containing the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine at the STARS Metro North Health facility in Brisbane on March 1.
“If we let this thing run its course, it will explode. We need to get this to ground because if we don’t, people will die,” he said.
His comments were shared by health official Brett Sutton, who likened the virus to a “beast” that needed to be stopped.
“I’ve described it as an absolute beast because we have to run it down to the ground,” he said.