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23 August, 2021

Employees at food distribution centres to be vaccinated at work as rollout ramps up

Workers at some of Queensland’s largest meatworks and food distribution centres will be prioritised for vaccination as part of a plan announced by the Palaszczuk Government today. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said vaccination coordinators were working with eight food distribution centres and 20 meatworks that the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries had identified as critical for food supply throughout Queensland.

From next week, employees at crucial food depots will be offered the chance to be vaccinated at work.

The Premier said the move was part of a strategy to combat outbreaks in meat processing plants which have proven costly in NSW, Victoria and overseas.

“Throughout the world, we’ve seen deadly outbreaks spread from meatworks and food distribution hubs. This week, we’re implementing a strategy to reduce the risk of such outbreaks in Queensland,” the Premier said.

“Food security is a priority. But anecdotally, we know that the take up at food distribution sites across the state has been low.

“From next week, we’ll begin a program to vaccinate employees on site at a number of our largest food distribution centres and meatworks.

“This is an important step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 if and when the Delta variant gets into our community again.

“If you’re a worker at a food distribution or meatworks centre – I urge you to get vaccinated.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Queensland Health was finalising due diligence on two private sector vaccine providers, with plans for contractors to start administering vaccinations at meatworks and food distribution centres from next week.

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries have worked closely with Queensland Health to identify 28 sites across the state for the in-reach vaccination program,” she said.

“More than 7600 people work at these 28 centres. We’re making it as easy as possible for these workers to get vaccinated because we’ve seen overseas the damage the Delta variant can do to our community if it’s allowed to spread.”

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