Queensland’s ‘super Pfizer weekend’ has got off to a rocky start, with extensive delays and a shortage of the vaccine in some parts of the state.
Some hubs have been so overwhelmed with walk-up numbers in Brisbane’s south that people were turned away.
On the Sunshine Coast, frustrated residents were warned to expect huge wait times.
‘Our University Hospital clinic is (currently) at capacity with wait times of more than four hours,’ the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service said in a statement.
‘If you don’t want to wait, head on up to our clinic at Gympie Civic Centre. It has plenty of availabilities.’
At nearby Capalaba, more than 500 people – some who waited for more than three hours – were told by police to move on after all supplies of the vaccine were exhausted.
Alison Kubler, who took her two teenage daughters to be vaccinated, labelled the situation ‘a disgrace’.
‘It was clear Queensland Health was unprepared – how can they run out of vaccines? It’s preposterous,’ Ms Kubler told the Courier Mail.
‘Worst of all there were frail elderly people on walking frames and families with special needs kids… and at no point did anyone from Queensland Health come out and talk to us.
‘It’s a disgrace that not one government staffer bothered to take the most vulnerable people first. I would have happily given up my place.’
Despite Saturday’s early dramas, the extensive turn out for ‘Super Pfizer weekend’ has been described as ‘unbelievable’ by chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young.
Some residents lined up from 4am at certain hubs, which didn’t open their doors until 8.30am.
It comes after Queensland residents were encouraged to turn up at mass vaccination centres – without bookings – to get a first or second jab.
Dr Young has since pledged to continue the ‘mass jab’ option for upcoming weekends and that the government ‘will use every dose of vaccine that we possibly can.’
More than 25,000 vaccines have been administered in the last 24 hours in the Sunshine State.
Queensland’s lone local Covid case overnight is linked to the Sunnybank cluster. The infected individual was in home quarantine the entire time, posing no community risk.