Bunnings 'open' to innovative vaccination hub plan

Bunnings Warehouse says it is open to the idea of using its expansive car parks as Covid vaccination hubs if more locations were needed.

While no proposal has been made by Bunnings, the hardware giant said it would be open to discussing the possibility if approached by the government.

"We've previously supported the government and the community by hosting Covid-19 testing in some of our store carparks, and we're always open to discussing further support directly with the government," Bunnings chief operating officer Deb Poole told Yahoo News Australia in a statement.

Bunnings Warehouse is seen in Maribyrnong, Victoria.
Bunnings said it was open to offering its car parks as vaccination hubs. Source: Getty

Epidemiologist and Associate Professor in public health at La Trobe University, Hassan Vally, told The Guardian hosting vaccinations at centres like Bunnings could encourage more people to get the jab.

"Everyone in the population seems to end up at Bunnings with some frequency ... they're convenient for people to get to," he said.

"Most people haven't seen a vaccination occur in person, so if you're going into a Bunnings a few times and you keep passing the vaccinations, then the next time you're on your way out with your potting mix, you'll go up and ask."

Vaccination rollout to be finalised

Australia's leaders have been urged to abandon political disputes in a crucial meeting over bringing the coronavirus vaccine rollout forward for over-50s.

Scott Morrison will chair Thursday's national cabinet gathering, which is set to finalise plans to expand the program to AstraZeneca jabs for people aged 50 to 69.

Australian Medical Association deputy president Chris Moy said state and federal governments needed to show real leadership.

"We need the band to get back together again," he told Sky News.

"The national cabinet must understand this is too big to politicise. Just get on with the job with speeding up the vaccination program for those aged over 50."

A healthcare worker is seen handling a AstraZeneca vaccination.
Australia's vaccination rollout is behind schedule. Source: AAP

The prime minister, premiers and chief ministers are set to consider plans for mass vaccination sites for people under 50.

NSW will establish mass vaccination hubs which are expected to be operating in about a month.

Victoria is using a number of large facilities, including Geelong's former Ford factory, providing AstraZeneca shots for anyone over 70 with or without bookings.

Queensland won't shift to mass vaccination centres until bulk supplies can be guaranteed, which is not expected until the final three months of the year.

Federal government rollout schedule falls behind

The federal government is under the pump over the behind-schedule rollout with concerns about vaccination rates for people in aged care and disability.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese will on Thursday visit a Melbourne nursing home where no residents or staff have been vaccinated.

"What a debacle. The residents of St Kilda's Sacred Heart Nursing Home were told this week they will finally receive their jab – next month," he said.

More than 118,000 aged care and disability residents have received a first dose but the figure falls to just over 65,000 for full vaccinations.

There are about 190,000 people in those groups, considered to be among the most vulnerable. The numbers are overwhelmingly in aged care with just 6.5 per cent of all disability residents receiving a jab.

with AAP

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