— Health

Annastacia Palaszczuk defends getting the Pfizer vaccine as she gets her first COVID-19 jab

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended getting the Pfizer vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca jab. 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 50 should receive AstraZeneca. The premier says she needed Pfizer to ensure she would be fully vaccinated if 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 hole is necessary 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 wouldn’t go 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 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 for a vaccine since late March.

The premier was initially offered the Pfizer vaccine on day one of the rollouts in February, but she said she didn’t want to jump the queue. Ms. Palaszczuk said her jab was delayed by two weeks because she had to get a tetanus shot after being bitten by her dog Winton.

The premier then got a flu shot, delaying her two-week vaccination.

She laughed when asked why she had prioritized 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 without 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.

Over the weekend, Queensland launched a vaccination blitz, resulting in 17,032 doses being administered across the state. The state government opened 18 vaccine hubs to aged care workers or people aged 40-49 who had registered for the jab.

Over 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 from the federal government.

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

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, construct the facility, pay for the facility, and run the facility,” she said. “After all, quarantine is a federal government responsibility.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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