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26 February, 2021

Cairns Vaccination Hub up and running

Frontline workers at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service are among the first people in regional Queensland to be given the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, starting from today.

Cairns Hospital infectious disease physician Dr Simon Smith received the first injection at the hospital this morning

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’ath said it was an incredible milestone for Far North Queensland.

“After successful launches at the Gold Coast and South Brisbane earlier this week, I am very excited to welcome this milestone in Cairns,” Ms D’Ath said.

“Here in Queensland, we have the unique challenge of a being a very decentralised state, so I am so thrilled to welcome this vaccination hub today in the tropical north.”

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the Cairns Hospital vaccination hub was a particularly important step in the state’s COVID-19 recovery.

 “I am thrilled for those getting vaccinated today, and I will be the first in line to receive my vaccination when it is my turn. It is truly our best chance at getting Queensland back on track.” Dr Young said

CHHHS Executive Director Medical Services Dr Don Mackie said he was excited to be the first regional Pfizer hub to receive the vaccines

 “We are planning to vaccinate up to 100 people on our first day and we intend to have many more vaccinated within three weeks,” Dr Mackie said.

 “These workers are the ones most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 in their day-to-day jobs, so it is critical we vaccinate them first.”

Cairns Hospital infectious disease physician Dr Simon Smith received the first injection at the hospital this morning.

“My colleagues and I have been treating the majority of COVID-19 patients over the last year and to see this vaccine arrive is a remarkable achievement for science,” he said.

“To think that within one year we have multiple safe and effective vaccines available in Cairns, is an outstanding achievement for everyone involved.”

Among the first cohort of health workers to be vaccinated is Valerie Nancarrow, who works as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison officer in the COVID-19 ward at Cairns Hospital.

“I am so fortunate to have been offered the vaccine in the very first phase,” she said.

“Getting vaccinated means I am doing the right thing for me, and for Queensland.”

Tania Cahill is another frontline worker who welcomes the COVID-19 vaccine.

“As a registered nurse in the border screening team we are placed at increased risk for COVID-19,” said Ms Cahill.

“By staying healthy and preventing any acute respiratory syndrome, I can continue to support the health service and care for our community.

“I encourage everyone to embrace the opportunity for COVID-19 vaccination.”

These frontline workers will receive their second booster shot in three weeks’ time before further groups of people are vaccinated in the planned, staged approach.

This will allow for a much broader distribution of the vaccine, and more locations will come online overtime, including more hospitals, GPs and pharmacies.

Further information about the COVID-19 vaccine is available at:

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