Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has doubled down on her advice for under 40s not to get the Astra Zeneca jab, rejecting claims that she is ‘scaremongering.’
The vaccination rollout is in turmoil after conflicting advice from state leaders and Chief Health Officers.
The Prime Minister on Monday opened the door for under 40s to get the Astra Zeneca jab from their GP, if they were happy to have it, after announcing an indemnity scheme for general practitioners.
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Jeanette Young was adamant that she did not want under 40s in Queensland to get the Astra Zeneca jab.
“I don’t want an 18-year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got COVID probably wouldn’t die,” Dr Young said on Wednesday.
Despite ATAGI advice stating “the benefits are likely to outweigh the risk” for those under the age of 60 receiving Astra Zeneca, Dr Young is sticking to her guns.
“My advice is very, very clearly that people who are 60 years of age or older should be going to their GP or a Commonwealth vaccine clinic to get AstraZeneca.
“If you haven’t had your first dose and you are under the age of 60 and at least 16 years of age, then you should be scheduling yourself as soon as it becomes available to you to get the Pfizer vaccine.”
Dr Young has rejected claims from some medical experts that her statement on Wednesday was ‘scaremongering.’
“No, that is the truth, that there is a risk that you can die from one of those rare, and they are rare blood clots, and the younger you are the more likely it is that it will happen. As you get older….the risk significantly decreases over the age of 60.
“This is getting absolutely silly. I have put my advice out there very, very clearly. Now, people need to work out where they want to get advice from.
“People, of course, can go and get their own advice. They can get it from wherever they wish to get it, but my advice is very, very clear.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also launched a strong defence of her Chief Health Officer.
“Dr Young is one of the most respected health professionals in this country. She has given Queenslanders the very best advice that has kept us safe. Not only has it kept us safe, but it has actually allowed our economy to open up faster than most other places in Australia.
“So, my advice to everyone is, in Queensland….. listen to the advice that Dr Young has provided, and then, as she has said, individuals can go and have their own consultation with their own GP.”
Meantime, Health Minister Yvette D’ath has urged people to treat healthcare workers with respect following reports staff were being abused by patients worried they would miss out on their second dose of Pfizer.
That comes a day after the Health Minister herself warned the state was just days away from running out of supply.
“Can I ask the public to be respectful to our staff who are working tirelessly to get Queenslanders vaccinated. Whether it is testing staff or vaccination, we are so grateful for our health workers and what they are doing each and every day, they don’t deserve any abuse in the role that they are undertaking.
“We know people are anxious, we know people want to get tested and vaccinated. We respect that. But we also want you to respect our workforce and what they are doing to keep us safe.”