We call upon them to save us in the surf, and now Queensland has turned to its clubbies to help save Christmas.
Surf clubs from Coolangatta to Cairns have been transformed into pop-up vaccination clinics this weekend as part of a last-ditch effort to get Queenslanders vaccinated in time for the December 17 reopening of the borders.
The state government is calling it ‘V-Day’ – the final weekend that residents can get their first dose of the vaccine if they want a second dose before the state begins welcoming visitors, and a likely surge in virus numbers.
Hundreds of cases a day are expected to be recorded once Queensland fully opens up to outsiders.
“It’s just a matter of weeks until the borders open, so there’s no time to waste,” emergency services Minister Mark Ryan said at a press conference at Caloundra.
There are 23 surf clubs set up as vaccination clinics this weekend for people to get vaccinated. It follows a strategy that has also used pop-up clinics at rugby league matches, Bunnings Warehouses and local high schools.
Each participating surf club will have qualified vaccination staff on hand to administer the jabs.
There were no new Covid cases reported in Queensland on Saturday – either locally acquired or in hotel quarantine – with only 13 cases currently in the state.
The state’s vaccination rate is still creeping towards the 80 per cent double-dose target set down for the reopening of borders, with 63 per cent of the population having had two jabs. About 77 per cent of Queenslanders have had one dose.
Government noted that people who are vaccinated have an 86 per cent less chance of catching the virus and passing it on, and a 90 per cent less chance of dying from the effects of the virus.