Cairns Convention Centre is set to become the region’s first mass COVID-19 vaccination site, with jabs scheduled to start next week.

Across four long weekends in September and October, anyone aged between 12 and 59 years can visit the centre to receive a Pfizer shot.

Walk-ins are available, but the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital & Health Service (CHHHS) is urging residents to register their interest online in order to get an appointment.


The hub will be open across the following dates:

10 – 12 September for first doses

17 – 19 September for first doses

1 – 3 October for second doses

8 – 10 October for second doses

CHHHS’ Executive Director of Medical Services, Dr Don Mackie, said the health service expects to deliver around 1,500 vaccinations each day.

“We’re taking bookings, but we also have an open door for walk-ins,” he said.


More than 172,000 doses have been delivered by health providers across the region – approximately 86,000 of which have been administered by CHHHS.

That accounts for about 31 per cent of the eligible population in the Cairns region, according to the latest data released by the Department of Health.

While Cairns is being championed for having the state’s highest COVID-19 vaccination rate outside of the south-east corner, the percentage of vaccinated First Nations people in the region is far less than that of the general population.

About 12 per cent of the eligible First Nations population in the CHHHS area is fully vaccinated.

Residents can also receive an appointment at local GP clinics and pharmacies, many of which are offering a walk-in service.  


Main points

  • A mass vaccination hub will open in the Cairns Convention Centre next Friday
  • It joins two others in Edmonton and Smithfield run by Queensland Health
  • Private health providers, such as GPs and pharmacies, have delivered about half the region’s vaccinations
It’s the biggest public health event that we’ve ever run in Cairns.
Dr Don Mackie
CHHHS’ Executive Director of Medical Services