Queensland's top doctor demands Annastacia Palaszczuk urgently set border reopening date to bolster COVID-19 vaccine rates

© Provided by ABC News Queensland’s AMA president Chris Perry has told Queenslanders to “get off their backsides” and get vaccinated. (ABC News)

Queensland’s top doctor has demanded Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government urgently set a date to reopen the state’s borders in a bid to bolster vaccination rates.

Queensland president of the Australian Medical Association (AMAQ) Chris Perry said the government needed to release a roadmap for reopening to give Queenslanders a deadline to get vaccinated and to provide guidance and certainty to businesses, the health system and the community. 

“They have to open,” Dr Perry told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“We’re all going to get COVID, we have to keep our tourist industry going.

“There’s a bit of lockdown fatigue, there’s a bit of vaccination fatigue. People, especially in the regions, are thinking: ‘She’ll be right mate, it’s not going to come here.’ Well it is.”

He said it was inevitable that Queenslanders will get COVID-19 when the borders reopen.

The stern warning comes as Queensland today recorded zero locally acquired cases after conducting more than 10,530 tests in the past 24 hours.

Queenslanders told to ‘get off their backside’ and get vaccinated

Dr Perry said while both the Premier and Health Minister have “hinted at timetables,” it was time Queenslanders had clarity on what vaccination targets will be need to be reached to reopen the borders ahead of Christmas.

 

“We’re asking the Premier to give us a definite date, 1st of December, 14th of December, Christmas Eve, something so that bookings can be made,” he said.

“And people can get off their backside and go and get their very, very safe vaccine so when they do get COVID, they’re not terribly sick, blocking up the health system and killing themselves or giving themselves long-term COVID.”

The AMAQ has been calling for the state government to make vaccinations mandatory and accessible in all healthcare facilities and has voiced concerns about Queensland’s vaccination rates falling behind the national average.

“Get your vaccine because you’re going to get the disease when the border opens up, and you want to get it mildly or not at all,” he said.

“When I get it I hope it’s going to be a mild cold, I don’t want to die from it, I don’t want to have chronic fatigue syndrome, not be able to smell and taste food for the rest of my life.

“And of course, 7 per cent of males can’t have sex [after getting COVID-19), they have erectile dysfunction, that’s not age-related, that’s young men.”

Hospitals stretched beyond limit

Dr Perry said social media magnified side effects of the vaccine.

“I’m just sick of the conspiracy theorists, people say it’s not safe — there’s been over 3 billion people [who] have got the vaccine.

“In the age of social media, any potential slight headache or small, serious problem with the vaccines is magnified.

“We know they’re incredibly, incredibly safe.”

It comes as Queensland hospitals are “already stretched with emergency departments under stress and hospitals running at 105 per cent capacity without any COVID cases”, Dr Perry said.

“We must be ready for the COVID surge. We have enough ventilators, but do we have enough staff trained in managing ventilated patients.”

Queensland has a total of 30 active cases.

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