Bunnings reveals new Covid vaccine initiative: 'snag and a dose'
Queenslanders will be able to grab a Bunnings sausage sanga and a Covid jab in a push to get the vaccine rollout in the sunshine state moving along.
Queensland sits only ahead of Western Australia in percentage of the population over 16 with two doses of coronavirus vaccine, according to Operation Covid Shield.
Just 52.7 per cent of Queenslanders are fully vaccinated compared to more than 70 per cent in both the ACT and NSW.
In a move to get needles in arms, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a plan on Tuesday for retailer Bunnings to offer Covid-19 vaccinations moving forward, so "families can get their Bunnings snag and a dose of vaccine".
The rollout at the hardware giant will begin on Saturday.
Bunnings managing director Mike Schneider told Yahoo News Australia in a statement the chain is "really pleased" to help Queensland Health with the rollout.
"We hope it makes accessing vaccinations as easy and convenient as picking up an item for a weekend DIY project," he said.
"We’ve always tried to play an active role supporting the local communities where we operate, so providing space to Queensland Health to accelerate the vaccination rollout just makes sense. Like everyone, we can’t wait to see the whole community protected so we can all get back to doing the things we love."
Bunnings chief operating officer Deb Poole told Yahoo News Australia in a statement in April Bunnings has supported Covid-19 testing in its carparks and would be open to discussing further support with the government.
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."
Which Bunnings stores will offer the vaccine?
Fairfield Waters (Townsville)
'Taking the vaccine to the people'
The premier told parliament on Tuesday the plan was focused on "taking the vaccine to the people".
"There's no excuse," she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said 156 vaccination clinics have been opened across Queensland.
"They have helped deliver a total of more than 2.8 million vaccines including at pop-up clinics everywhere from football finals to high school halls," she said.
Queensland recorded no new cases of community-transmitted Covid-19 on Tuesday.
On Monday, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath hinted at a timeline when asked about the vaccine target for reopening the borders to NSW, Victoria and the ACT.
"The target is getting yourself protected in the next five to six weeks. That is your mission," she said.
"Get yourself protected and that helps protect our whole community and allows us to open up."
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The government has not recommitted to opening the borders once vaccination coverage reaches 80 per cent.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the state has modelled reopening at 80 per cent, but she would prefer if vaccine coverage reached 95 per cent.
"It shows that we would be stretched, of course we would be, which is why I don't want to stop at 80 per cent," she said.
"I would like to see every single Queenslander, 12 years of age or older, vaccinated. I think that's absolutely critical.
"The more Queenslanders who are vaccinated, the less the impact will be on our health system."
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