Qld premier defends choosing Pfizer jab

By | June 7, 2021

After months of concern about her lack of urgency, Ms Palaszczuk finally rolled up her sleeve on Monday morning.

The 51-year-old got the Pfizer vaccine despite government advice that people over the age of 50 should receive AstraZeneca.

The premier says she needed Pfizer to ensure she would be fully vaccinated in case she had to travel to the Tokyo Olympics next month.

Ms Palaszczuk says there’s a chance she and the prime minister will need to present Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics bid to the International Olympic Committee.

Pfizer requires a 21-day gap between doses, while a 12-week gap is needed for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“I wouldn’t have been vaccinated, and that’s why I had the Pfizer,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he won’t be going to Tokyo, but would meet his Japanese counterpart at this week’s G7 in the UK.

The Queensland premier is the last state or territory leader over the age of 50 to get the jab.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, 57, got the AstraZeneca vaccine also on Monday morning.

As part of Queensland’s 1B cohort, Ms Palaszczuk and Dr Young have been eligible to get a vaccine since late March.

The premier was initially offered the Pfizer vaccine on day one of the rollout in February, but she said she didn’t want to jump the queue.

The premier then got a flu shot, delaying her vaccination for a further two weeks.

She laughed when asked why she had prioritised her flu shot over the COVID-19 jab.

“I have done everything I could physically be required to do,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The premier insisted she would have had the AstraZeneca jab if there wasn’t the remote possibility of overseas travel.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli, who is 41 and getting Pfizer, said the government’s optics and messaging needed to improve.

“Everything we do as leaders has to be about giving people confidence in the vaccine,” he said.

Queensland launched a vaccination blitz over the weekend resulting in 17,032 doses being administered across the state.

The state government opened up 18 vaccine hubs to any aged care workers or people aged 40-49 who had registered for the jab.

More than 836,000 doses have been delivered in Queensland with about 92,500 people fully vaccinated.

Pharmacies joined the vaccine drive on Monday after Queensland became the first state where they were given the green light to do so from the federal government.

Almost 50 pharmacies in remote and regional areas will be allowed to give customers the jab.

Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk threw down the gauntlet for the federal government after she received a list of criteria for a mass quarantine facility in Queensland.

“If the Commonwealth wants to set the criteria they can design the facility, they can construct the facility, they can pay for the facility, and they can run the facility,” she said.

Australian Associated Press

Western Advocate – Health