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COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine arrives in Cairns as critical roll out gets underway

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The first batch of Pfizer vaccines has arrived in Cairns with the first nurse in Queensland rolling up her sleeve for the jab this morning.

From today, the vaccine will be given to aged and disability care residents, quarantine and border staff, and frontline healthcare workers at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 as the federal and state governments begin inoculation programs in Queensland.

Two planes carrying thousands of vials touched down in Brisbane and Cairns yesterday.

At 8.30am, a nurse named Zoe, who works on the Gold Coast, became the first Queensland healthcare worker to get the jab.

Cairns Hospital will start administering the vaccination to frontline workers this week, and the other five immunisation hubs - in south and north Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Townsville - will also start inoculations.

Federal Government zooms in on aged care

Meantime, the Federal Government is responsible for administering the Pfizer vaccination in aged care facilities, and it has sent vials to Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg and Toowoomba.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison received the coronavirus vaccine with his jab televised last night, in order to help boost confidence in the vaccine rollout across Australia.

The other COVID-19 vaccine approved in Australia, AstraZeneca, will be given to priority groups in early March.

Roll-out at GPs not far off

AMA Queensland is welcoming the start of the COVID-19 vaccination program and is urging all Queenslanders to talk to their doctor if they have concerns.

President Professor Chris Perry says initial doses are limited to those specific groups, but it won't be long before everyone can access the vaccine.

“More than 5,400 GP clinics across Australia have applied to administer the vaccine, demonstrating the desire of doctors to participate in the nation’s biggest mass vaccination program,” Prof Perry says.

Under the initial phase, about 1000 general practices will be approved to give the jab.

People who are worried about getting the vaccine should call 134 COVID (13 42 68 43).