A GOLD Coast nurse has become the first person in Queensland to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as the rollout is ramped up right across the country.
Registered nurse, Zoe Park, received the jab at the Gold Coast University Hospital on Monday morning.
She will be one of up to 180 frontline staff to be vaccinated at the Gold Coast hub today with hundreds more to get the jab across the state later this week.
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Ms Park said she was excited to be the first in line.
“It’s a really exciting time for all healthcare workers and Queensland,” Ms Park said.
Zoe works on the COVID-19 ward at the Gold Coast University Hospital and said she now feels safer going to work.
“I’ve seen families torn apart from it .. it’s really sad what it has done to patients affected and families,” she said.
“It’s really scary for healthcare workers to be going home and potentially exposing their family to that as well.”
Frontline nurse Zoe Park is the first Queenslander to get the COVID vaccination👏 pic.twitter.com/MGY86zJ9kg
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) February 22, 2021
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said it was a big moment for the state.
“I want to put a big shout out to the amazing team here, who have worked tirelessly to get this vaccination unit ready for today,” Minister D’Ath said.
“It is the first of six hubs, and it will be the first of many sites that vaccinations will be delivered right across the state this year. We want as many people coming out and getting vaccinated as possible.
“Why? Because we know COVID is still real, it is still out there.”
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, said today’s vaccines were only just beginning.
“The plan is to vaccinate every single adult in Queensland, 18 years and over, as quickly as we can,” Dr Young said.
“The first target is the most crucial one, that is those 37,000 people who are in quarantine hotels, and today we started with one of them, the Inspector running the hotel here at the Gold Coast.”
Frontline health workers, quarantine staff and those in aged care will receive the vaccine first before it is slowly rolled out for the general population, depending on supply.
“We know you are eager, we will keep you informed,” Minister D’Ath said.
“We do need to make sure that we have the certainty of the vaccine coming and how much before we can make announcements as do the exact start date, but we do hope by the middle of the year we are rolling out a vaccine to the general public of Queensland.”
It was also confirmed this morning there have been two new cases of COVID-19 detected in Queensland in the last 24 hours.
Both were overseas acquired and detected in hotel quarantine. One was a flight crew member who came into the state from Doha and the other a man from Germany.
There are seven active cases across the state.