Qld set for 170 vaccine jabs on day one

Gold Coast nurse Zoe Park received Queensland's first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Gold Coast nurse Zoe Park received Queensland's first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Queensland is on track to give more than 170 people the coronavirus vaccine on day one of the rollout.

Gold Coast nurse Zoe Park was the first person to be given a dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Queensland at Gold Coast University Hospital on Monday morning.

The COVID-19 ward nurse says it will give her much more confidence doing her job and going home to her family after shifts.

"It's really sad what it has done to the patients affected and their families," Nurse Park told reporters.

"It's really scary for healthcare workers to be going home and potentially exposing their family to that as well, so (the vaccine is) very exciting."

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said it was a historic day, coming just more than a year after the first case appeared in the state.

She said the vaccine was the best way to protect the public and return to normalcy.

"This is the answer: we have five million Queenslanders here and if we want to keep five million Queenslanders safe, we need you to get vaccinated," Ms D'Ath said.

Gold Coast University Hospital was set to administer 100 jabs on Monday but is now aiming for 180 and at least 170.

The vaccine will be rolled out in Brisbane on Wednesday and then Cairns on Friday.

The federal government is also starting to deliver the vaccine in public and private aged care homes this week.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the vaccine is so valuable that clinicians have been unable to practise with the real jab.

So she's relieved the first vaccine was administered without incident.

"One down, five million minus one to go," Dr Young said.

The plan is to vaccinate at least 1000 people by the end of this week and then rapidly ramp up to 10,000 people next week.

Gold Coast Health director of infectious diseases John Gerrard said the hospital should be able to vaccinate 1000 people this week.

"We've not been asked to do that. If all goes well, our team are keen to deliver as much vaccine as we possibly can," Dr Gerrard said.

Queensland's first COVID-19 case was reported in a traveller on January 28, 2020.

Dr Young said she had desperately hoped there would be a vaccine but she couldn't believe the day had come so quickly.

"I'm lost for words, and I'm not often lost for words. It's just really, it is so good."

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli welcomed the vaccine, but urged to government to ensure it made it to the regions.

"We want to make sure that every Queenslander gets the vaccine as quickly and as efficiently as possible," he said.

"And that means that the government has to put measures in place to ensure that those living in regional Queensland can do that.

Ms D'Ath said people still needed to remain vigilant, including staying home and getting tested if they had symptoms.

People still needed to social distance and venues needed to keep checking people in, the minister said.

Queensland on Monday reported two new virus cases in hotel quarantine, with seven active cases.

Australian Associated Press