Queensland rejects claim vaccine numbers were lowered

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Queensland rejects claim vaccine numbers were lowered

By Stuart Layt

Queensland has moved to redirect some of its supply of AstraZeneca directly to GPs, but the Health Minister insists there has been no reduction in the state’s overall vaccine allocation.

It was also revealed more than 6000 doses of the state’s allocation of Pfizer vaccine had to be binned because they were spoiled in transit last month.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath.Credit:Getty Images

News Corp reported on Friday that Queensland had actively requested it reduce the number of AstraZeneca doses it received.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that was because the state government had set up an agreement with the Commonwealth to send extra AstraZeneca doses directly to GPs rather than sending them to the state government first.

That was because, she said, GPs were dealing with the broader rollout, while the Queensland government had been proceeding with the staged rollout and was on phase 1B, which was dealing with secondary health workers.

The bulk of 1B were younger than 50 and therefore needed the Pfizer vaccine rather than AstraZeneca.

“We have surrendered our AstraZeneca numbers so they can go directly to GPs,” Ms D’Ath said. “Queensland is still getting our fair share of vaccines, they are just going directly to GPs.”

Ms D’Ath said the drop in weekly figures in April of Pfizer vaccines was due to 6700 doses being lost in transit due to a failure in the cold chain.

Those doses were being sent to the north of the state, mostly Townsville and Cairns.


Ms D’Ath said she and Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young had recommended to the Commonwealth that the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine via GP clinics should be expanded to include every GP on the National Immunisation Program.

“These are professionals who deliver flu vaccines every year. If we expand to them, we can get a large portion of our population vaccinated far quicker,” Ms D’Ath said.

When asked about the potential Queensland allocation of the newly-announced Moderna vaccines, Ms D’Ath said she had not seen any details and she had not had any communications with the Commonwealth on that issue.

Dr Young, who regularly spoke to her interstate and national counterparts, said it was “exciting” to have 25 million doses of the Moderna vaccine available to be allocated to states.

“The first 10 million [doses] will start arriving at the end of September and we’ll get it through to the end of the year,” Dr Young said.

“We’ve been getting our fair share every step along the way, we’ve been getting our population share of 20 per cent of the vaccines, I have no concern about that.”


Queensland recorded no new virus cases on Friday, with 13 active cases across the state, which Dr Young said was a good result.

She praised the slightly elevated testing rate, but urged anyone who had travelled interstate recently to make sure they had not visited one of the many locations in other states which were being monitored by Queensland authorities following outbreaks.

“Please, anyone who has been outside Queensland in the last 14 days, no matter whether it’s been New Zealand, Perth, Melbourne or Sydney, please just go onto our website and check that you haven’t been to one of the venues listed by one of those states or New Zealand,” she said.

“If you have, it’s really important you isolate, get tested, and ring 13HEALTH [13 43 25 84] for advice.”

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