QLD mulls triple vaccination rule as WA warned keeping closed will be worse for health

QLD mulls triple vaccination rule as WA warned keeping closed will be worse for health

Queensland has joined WA and Victoria in considering mandatory triple vaccination for international arrivals, however, recent research suggests further barriers could have an adverse effect on health outcomes.

Queensland may announce a third jab mandate for international arrivals as early as today, but many are warning the move could deter tourists.

In fact, according to The Courier Mail, Queensland will miss out on up to 99 per cent of its biggest pre-pandemic tourist markets if the triple vax mandate is implemented.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk indicated she will follow in the direction of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Western Australia’s Mark McGowan, requiring three doses for international arrival.

This is, of course, only if the advice from ATAGI changes the definition to include a third jab.

An update to this definition could hinder international travel numbers as just 32 per cent of New Zealanders, just over half the UK and 27 per cent of the US have had a third dose. These three countries comprised 760,000 arrivals into Queensland in 2019.

WA warned against further border closure

ICU’s in WA could become overwhelmed and more could die from a bigger Omicron outbreak if Western Australia waits too long to reopen the state’s border, according to independent modelling.

The findings were calculated by George Milne, an expert in infectious diseases modelling and professor of computer science at the University of Western Australia.

Milne’s work was previously used by the WHO and state and federal health departments to help with policies and vaccine rollout.

Milne calculated that if the border opened on 5 June, there would be a total of 478 deaths, 360 ICU admissions, 3,603 hospital admissions, and more than 885,352 cases during the Omicron outbreak in WA.

The professor said an opening on 5 March would be his advice for Premier Mark McGowan.

Milne’s modelling shows a small increase in case numbers if the border opens in March, April, or May.

According to the ABC, Milne predicts that over that three month period the total number of hospitalisations for the Omicron outbreak would increase from 2,932 to 3,203, ICU admissions from 293 to 320 and deaths 383 to 421 depending on which month the border re-opens.

“What we see is that if the border opens in March or April or May, we get quite a contained outbreak,” Milne said.

“And if we were to look at the endpoint of our modelling, which is ICU bed demand, fully-staffed ICU bed demand, that can be managed, the peak of the outbreak can be managed in terms of cases that end up in ICU, if the border opens up in the next few months.

“However, if the border opens from June onwards, the number of cases, people hospitalised and ending up in ICU steadily increases month by month to the point where ICU facilities may well be overwhelmed.”

Featured image source: Facebook/Annastacia Palaszczuk

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