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Vaccine target might not get Qld off the lockdown ‘merry-go-round’

Ms Palaszczuk said what was needed was more supply of vaccine, which she acknowledged was now coming, with the federal government securing 1 million extra doses, 136,890 of which are being sent to Queensland.

The 80 per cent vaccine target was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in July as a key benchmark for doing away with rolling lockdowns.

Griffith University infectious diseases expert Professor Nigel McMillan said the current acceleration of vaccine take-up meant there was no doubt Australia would hit the 80 per cent target “at a canter” by the end of the year.

Professor McMillan said when that level of immunisation in the general population was reached, lockdowns could be eased.

“We’ve got to get off this merry-go-round of following each case as it comes along, and that will be the transition,” he said.

“What we’re getting up against then is the idea that no one will ever get sick or die from this virus any more, which is not true, we can’t even do that for flu.

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“So it’s about transitioning to accepting more risk.”

In the 24 hours to Monday morning, 6724 vaccines were administered by Queensland Health, with nearly half – 3080 – given at the vaccination hub at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The government is also pushing to get more people vaccinated in local government areas along the Queensland border.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath announced the additional vaccines being sent by the federal government would be sent to the outer ring of Brisbane, in particular the Logan and Caboolture areas.

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“We’ve seen some of our lower [vaccination] take-up rates in those areas,” Ms D’Ath said. “We want to make sure we’re getting vaccines out there and we’re encouraging people to come forward.”

Queensland has had 10 days with no community transmission, as surrounding states and territories endure lockdowns.

The Northern Territory announced a snap three-day lockdown for greater Darwin and the Katherine region on Monday after a man in his 30s spent time in the community while infectious.

Queensland has declared the affected regions as hotspots, forcing anyone arriving into the state who has been in the areas since August 12 into hotel quarantine from 1am on Wednesday.

It follows the ACT extending its lockdown by two weeks as cases climb, while an extended lockdown was also confirmed for Melbourne.

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