Vaccine with a sausage sizzle? Bunnings offers its car parks as vaccination hubs to speed up rollout

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Aussie hardware favourite Bunnings is offering its car parks as mass vaccination hubs, in a move that could help overcome vaccine hesitancy among the population.

Joining the National Australia Bank and the Business Council of Australia in offering the government assistance to help speed up the vaccine rollout, Bunnings said it is open to offering its car parks as vaccine hubs if the government needs them.

Bunnings’ chief operating officer, Deb Poole told The Guardian the company was open to discuss any assistance the government requires.

“We’ve previously supported the government and the community by hosting COVID-19 testing in some of our store car parks and we’re always open to discussing further support directly with the government,” Poole said.

It’s a move that epidemiologist and associate professor in public health at La Trobe University Hassan Vally said could help encourage greater trust in the vaccine, as many Australians are familiar with Bunnings.

It’s “a good thing” if people can visit Bunnings and get their sausage sandwich after their vaccine on the way out, Vally told The Guardian.

Bunnings is not the first business to offer assistance to the government to help accelerate the rollout vaccine and assist in economic recovery.

National Australia Bank and the Business Council of Australia have both offered assistance, with NAB chief executive Ross McEwan telling a parliamentary committee last week that the bank’s customers are having trouble finding workers in seasonal jobs, construction, tourism, hospitality and aged care.

The federal government abandoned setting targets in its vaccine rollout strategy last week, after health authorities advised that the AstraZeneca vaccine was no longer preferable for Australians under 50, due to blood clotting as a potential side effect.

The National Cabinet met on Monday to discuss how it could speed up the rollout, and is expected to sign off on changes to the strategy later this week.

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