Gabrielle Bright was supposed to be at the head of the queue at one of Queensland’s vaccination centers this weekend, but the disability worker had no idea this was happening.
- By the end of this week, 18 vaccination centers will open across Queensland
- Disability worker Gabrielle Bright says she had no idea about the clinics this weekend
- Some locations in regional Queensland accept walk-ins
A total of 18 hubs will open across Queensland by the end of the week, with three new locations in the Logan Entertainment Center, Springfield Tower and Rocklea Showgrounds.
The spots will be open to those aged 40 to 49 who have signed up for vaccination.
Health officials hope to deliver 15,000 vaccines in a nationwide lightning strike over the next two days and have urged elderly care workers and homes for the disabled to register and give them priority.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said yesterday that frontline workers, including the disabled, have been invited to make an appointment.
However, Ms. Bright, a disability worker in Toowoomba, said she had not been contacted and was unaware that a super clinic would be available for her this weekend.
“I think whoever organized it has to get the communication right and get it out,” she said.
Walk-in customers welcome
Minister D’Ath also disagreed with regional health authorities about who could get vaccinated in the super clinics over the weekend.
“I want to make it clear: these sites are not open to the general public, they are not open for walk-ins,” she said on Thursday.
Queensland Health Secretary Yvette D’Ath says vaccination centers will be open to those who have registered. (
But walk-ins have been accepted in regional areas in Queensland, hubs in areas like Townsville and Toowoomba.
Health officials in Darling Downs were still encouraging people to register but said no one would be turned away from their Toowoomba site.
“We will certainly give priority to those who have registered for a vaccine,” said Annette Scott of Darling Downs Health.
“You are more certain that you will be in and out of the clinic much quicker.
“So yes to the walk-ins, but we can’t guarantee that you won’t have to wait.”
Ms. Scott said she hoped Toowoomba would have 1,100 vaccinations over the two days and said the 16- to 39-year-old age group was welcome but had a lower priority.
“I would expect that we will have adequate participation, we have already started getting registrations, we are reasonably confident that we will fill this clinic,” she said.
Annette Scott of Darling Downs Health said walk-in would be accepted at his Toowoomba clinics. (
ABC: Lucy Robinson
She said the 13COVID number had experienced some lengthy delays but was up and running after hours.
Ms. Scott said there had been some confusion about the process for the public, but the vaccination focus had always been on frontline workers and those in need of protection.
Ms. Bright said the vaccine rollout was frustrating and many of her colleagues were concerned for their own safety as well as their customers.
“I got the COVID test behind me. It would be nice to actually have the needle done and not panic every time we cough or something,” she said.
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“I was really sick just last week … and it worried me because I’m with people who don’t have very good immunity.
“Someone has to take over my shift, and the families of the people we care for are worried that we’ve been around their loved one and they haven’t finished yet.
“It is difficult.”
Eighteen COVID-19 vaccination centers will be operating in Queensland by the weekend.
ABC: Lucy Robinson
Ms. Bright said the COVID-19 experience was “terrible” for people with disabilities, making it difficult to care for.
“They lost all their freedom last year. Customers don’t fully understand it, so it’s really scary for them,” she said.
“Last year it was like a mess and now we just want to get it over with, we just want to be vaccinated.
“We want to be sure.”
Ms. Bright was now planning to sign up for Ballie Henderson Super Clinic in Toowoomba this Saturday and Sunday after being informed of the vaccination surge by the ABC.
“Well, I’ve been there a couple of times for the test, so I’d like to get the needle,” she said.
“I think it’s time everyone could go down and have their needles done and breathe calmly again.”
Chris Perry, president of the Australian Medical Association in Queensland, said the AMAQ supports the state government’s efforts.
“The vaccine numbers are finally looking like they’re coming after four months and it looks like people can get their vaccines in a pretty good amount of time,” said Dr. Perry.
He said that while the centers had the capacity to vaccinate people who came in, the authorities were careful about causing a rush.
“They try not to turn people away, but they don’t want everyone to show up,” he said.
“It would be just terrible.”
Dr. Perry said it was important that people also remember that seeing their primary care provider was an option.
“We support the hubs, but most people should go to their GP, where it gets so much easier – the hub setups could be a little inconvenient.”