Vaccine chaos: Nurses turned away after call to get jab

 

A communication failure has led to dozens of nurses being turned away from a major Brisbane hospital on Friday after being called in to get their coronavirus vaccine.

A nurse from a public hospital in the Sunshine State's capital was told in an email that included detailed information to arrive for an appointment on April 2 at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH).

The email, seen by NCA NewsWire and sent from 'Queensland Health Vaccine Bookings', provided the nurse with a QR code to identify themselves and instructed them to proceed to a specific location within the hospital.

The nurse, who requested to remain anonymous, said the confirmation email arrived immediately after Queensland Health told staff in another email to register to get their jab.

But when the nurse and more than a dozen other health professionals queued up at the RBWH at their allotted time on Friday, a nurse manager told them the vaccine clinic was closed and there were no staff on duty to administer the vital jab.

NCA NewsWire has been alerted to similar communication failures from Thursday within the department which has delayed the vaccination of health professionals in the state's hospitals.

Friday's sloppy error occurred just one day after Brisbane exited a snap three-day lockdown sparked by a positive case in an unvaccinated nurse, who became the centre of a cluster of nearly 20 people.

The RBWH’s vaccine clinic was closed for Easter. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Tertius Pickard
The RBWH’s vaccine clinic was closed for Easter. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Tertius Pickard

In a statement provided to NCA NewsWire, the body responsible for the management of the RBWH apologised for complicating access to the vaccine for Queensland's health staff.

"The booking system for Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital has incorrectly allowed for some bookings to be made on Good Friday, but this has now been rectified," a Metro North Hospital and Health Service spokesman said.

The mix-up comes after a week of ongoing hostility between the state and federal governments, with neither willing to accept blame for the slow delivery of the vaccine.

The Prime Minister said in early January the target was to have 4 million Australians vaccinated by the end of March, ensuring the nation 80,000 jabs would be provided each week.

"We hoped, by the end of February, end of March, I should say, to have reached some 4 million population," Scott Morrison said at the time.

The rollout has fallen well short of this target, with just 670,000 doses being administered by Thursday this week on the first day of April.

The slow pace led to federal Coalition frontbencher David Littleproud infuriating Queensland and NSW governments by ordering the states to "pull their finger out".

But Queensland's deputy premier Steven Miles said the blame laid on the Morrison government for failing to provide ample stock of either vaccine dosage.

He told reporters on Thursday morning the Sunshine State had just a three-day supply of the Pfizer vaccine on hand, and 12 days of the AstraZeneca jab, declaring "David Littleproud is 2021's April fool."

"At current rates that could just be eight to nine days," Mr Miles said.

"If you think about the fact that that is the vaccine we are distributing to our regions and to our remote communities, we need ample supply of that to ensure our hospitals have it."

NCA NewsWire contacted Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath to comment on the communication breakdown.

Originally published as Vaccine chaos: Nurses turned away after call to get jab



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