Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk has announced a “Super Pfizer Weekend” to increase vaccine coverage as the rollout in her state lags behind the rest of Australia.
The expanded vaccine rollout comes as more Pfizer supplies arrive, with about 38 percent of Queenslanders currently fully vaccinated and about 57 percent with a single dose.
Queensland and Western Australia both currently have strict COVID-19 limit measures, and both have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
Palaszczuk hopes the “super weekend for immunizations” will boost vaccinations, with all 80 state-run vaccination centers accepting walk-ins on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Last week, we put 146,182 doses in the strong arms of Queenslanders, on Monday 189,450 Pfizer doses arrived: let’s use a lot,” she told Queensland Parliament on Wednesday.
“As they say in Ekka—’Roll up, roll up, roll up to the vaccination clinic, roll up to your GP, roll up to your pharmacy, roll up your sleeves and take your best shot.
“Other states have to fight just to taste freedom; We have to fight to keep our grip,” she said.
While half of Australia’s population is currently locked down under extreme COVID-19 measures in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, Queensland has fared relatively well with less severe outbreaks.
Although there has been an outbreak of the delta version of the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, the state has not required a prolonged lockdown to suppress the spread.
Now that the Commonwealth has secured much of Pfizer’s supply, Palaszuk said state vaccination centers will begin offering that vaccine to people over the age of 60 later this week.
So far, that age group has only been offered Vaxzervia, formerly known as AstraZeneca. Vaxzervia is how the vaccine is known in European countries and Canada.
Palaszczuk said giving people a choice of vaccines would help increase vaccine coverage.
“They told me loud and clear that they want an alternative to vaccines, well, I say let’s give it to them,” she said.
Queensland’s Leader of the Opposition David Crisafuli said the poor vaccine coverage was due to the premier’s own hesitation about the Vaxjeveria jab.
When Palaszczuk first qualified for that vaccine, she delayed, saying she needed to get her flu shot first.
Premier was forced to delay a second time after she was bitten by her dog and required a tetanus jab.
She was required to be fully vaccinated before traveling to Tokyo in late July to make a pitch to support Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic bid.
However, it was too late for her to get AstraZeneca by then, so she got the Pfizer vaccine instead.
Crisafuli said Queenslanders looked to Palaszczuk for leadership and his hesitation to get the vaccine.
“If your state leaders are effectively finding excuses for not getting vaccinated when their time is up, I would suggest that an everyday Queenslander say, ‘Well, maybe she knows something we don’t. ‘.
“Well, the truth is, she doesn’t; it (AstraZeneca/Vaxjeveria) is safe.”
Meanwhile, Crisafuli declined to comment on Chief Health Officer Janet Young’s warning earlier this year that people under 18 could die if they had had the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Queensland reported no new virus cases after more than 15,800 tests in 24 hours since 6.30 am on Wednesday.
AAP contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times