Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pleaded with Queenslanders who are eligible for AstraZeneca to get their vaccine now.
“Queensland – don’t wait for what’s happening in another state to potentially happen in your state,” Mr Morrison urged listeners on 4BC on Thursday.
The Prime Minister insisted AstraZeneca was “totally safe”, highlighting it had been given the “seal of approval” from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
“The TGA approved it – the same body that approves the immunisation for your children is the same body that approved these immunisation vaccines for you.”
“It’s really important to get vaccinated now,” Mr Morrison insisted.
“Please, Queensland, particularly if you’re in the older population – please go and get that AstraZeneca.”
Ongoing conflict has brewed between the PM and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk over the administration of AstraZeneca.
In June, Ms Palaszczuk pushed back hard against the PM’s suggestion that AstraZeneca be made available for those aged under 40.
“I don’t want under 40s to get AstraZeneca. They’re at increased risk of the rare (blood) clotting syndrome,” Palaszczuk’s chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said.
The Premier fumed that there had been no national cabinet agreement to discuss the decision, lamenting that the recommendation contradicted the health advice in Queensland.
“I urge Queenslanders to listen to Dr Young and follow the advice of our chief health officer,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
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The risk of sustaining a blood clot from AstraZeneca is three times higher for under 50s than it is for over 60s.
But it is still very low. For every 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca, an estimated 3.1 cases of Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome occur in those under 50.
While NSW, Victoria and now South Australia are all in the throws of hard lockdown following outbreaks of the Delta variant, Queensland is fairing relatively well.
The state currently has 31 active cases and no lockdowns.
Queensland is sitting on par with the rest of Australia in vaccination rates, with 11.6 per cent of the state now fully vaccinated.
Queenslanders aged 16 and over are currently eligible for AstraZeneca. However, those under 60 must speak to their GP about the risks before deciding on getting the jab.