Australia

Annastacia Palaszczuk finally gets her COVID-19 vaccine after extended delay

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has finally rolled up her sleeve for her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

After weeks of concern about her perceived vaccine hesitancy or lack of urgency, Ms Palaszczuk got the jab on Monday morning ahead of a trip to Tokyo for Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics bid.

The 51-year-old got the Pfizer jab, while Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, 57, got the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Last week 50-year-old Health Minister Yvette D’Ath also received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Didn’t hurt at all,” Ms Palaszczuk said to the nurse on Monday.

“You have the knack of this.

“Very easy.”

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

As part of the Queensland’s 1B cohort, she and Dr Young were eligible to get a vaccine from late March.

Ms Palaszczuk said she had been offered the vaccine in March but had turned it down because she did not want to jump the queue.

In mid-April, Ms Palaszczuk said she was unable to get her COVID-19 jab earlier because she had had her annnual flu shot first and had to wait two weeks.

She advised Queenslanders to do the same, although the federal Department of Health advised the opposite order of shots.

At the time, the Australian Medical Association urged prominent Queenslanders to step up and get this “damned vaccine”.

Ms Palaszczuk said last week she had initially delayed her COVID-19 vaccination because she had to get a tetanus jab after her dog bit her during a play-fight in her backyard.

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.

The government earlier ruled out mass vaccination hubs until the final quarter of 2021, but Ms D’Ath said consistent Pfizer supply had allowed them to open before schedule.

“Sometimes it would arrive early and we’d be told ‘that’s all you’re getting for three weeks’ … now we’re getting consistency,” she told ABC Radio.

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

Pharmacies will also join the vaccine drive on Monday after Queensland became the first state where chemists 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.



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