The McGowan government has made more moves to push up Western Australia’s lagging Covid-19 vaccination rates, rolling out Bunnings “jab and snags” and other measures.
Several clinics will be rolled out at the Wesfarmers-owned hardware stores across the state, with each providing up to 250 vaccinations per day for people to drop in without an appointment.
Wildly popular Premier Mark McGowan announced the plan outside Bunnings in his home suburb and electorate Rockingham on Sunday, saying there would be six or seven set up shortly.
He said there would be a “super vaccination” blitz at the stores on the weekend of November 6-7, with locations to be advertised.
“For those people who are time poor – especially your tradies – they can come to Bunnings, pick up their goods and supplies, get vaccinated at the same time and be on their way,” Mr McGowan told reporters.
“It just makes it easier for those people out there who have had difficulty finding the opportunity or the time to go and get vaccinated.
“You can roll up here, you can buy your fertiliser, you can have a sausage, talk to a mate, and go and get vaccinated.”
The Labor leader also announced a new state-run community vaccination clinic would open on Monday at Carramar Village Shopping Centre in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Additional clinics are being planned for Mandurah, Ellenbrook and Canning Vale, and are expected to open from early November.
That’s on top of the existing community vaccination clinics at Armadale Central Shopping Centre, The Square Mirrabooka, Centrepoint Midland Shopping Centre, Claremont Showgrounds, Kwinana Supa Centre, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City.
Also, a police booze bus has been converted to bring vaccination equipment and staff to new pop-up clinics around the state.
Asked about the slow pace of WA’s jab take-up, Mr McGowan said it was climbing every day.
The state has Australia’s lowest double-jabbed rate at just 59.3 per cent, the latest federal government figures show.
The WA government last week made vaccination compulsory for about 75 per cent of the state’s workforce, including in “high risk” jobs in teaching, hospitality and construction.
Anyone who does not comply with the mandate could face hefty fines of up to $100,000 for employers and up to $20,000 for individual workers.
“While it’s a tough and difficult thing to do, it’s going to increase the vaccination rate in Western Australia markedly,” Mr McGowan said on Sunday.
The announcement prompted a snap protest outside the state government’s offices.
Meanwhile, Mr McGowan did not want to specifically comment on a security incident at his home on Saturday night that prompted him to rush back from a function.
He did, however, say he was happy with his current level of personal security.
“If you want to protest, protest but be respectful,” he said.
“I think it’s a sign of the online world, where people get wound up by conspiracy theorists and misleading information, and where people who basically promote witch doctor solutions to medical problems.”