News Coronavirus Queensland Premier defends Pfizer choice, despite AZ eligibility

Queensland Premier defends Pfizer choice, despite AZ eligibility

annastacia palaszczuk
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk received her first Pfizer dose from nurse Dawn Pedder on Monday. Photo: AAP
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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended getting the Pfizer vaccine over the AstraZeneca jab despite being older than 50.

After weeks of concern about her perceived vaccine hesitancy or lack of urgency, Ms Palaszczuk finally got the jab on Monday morning.

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

Ms Palaszczuk said she had to get Pfizer to ensure she got her second dose before a possible trip to Tokyo with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in July as part of Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics bid.

“There may be a requirement for the state to present to the whole [International] Olympics Committee about the Olympics, and I wouldn’t have been unvaccinated and that’s why I had the Pfizer,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Later, however, Mr Morrison said he would go to Tokyo, but he would meet his Japanese counterpart at the upcoming G7 in Britain.

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

The state’s chief health officer, Jeannette Young, 57, got the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday morning.

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

Ms Palaszczuk said she had been offered the vaccine on day one of the rollout in Feburary 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 because she had had a flu shot first and had to wait two weeks.

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 at 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 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.

Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk threw down the gauntlet for the federal government after she received a list of criteria for a Commonwealth 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.

“After all quarantine is a federal government responsibility.”