Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is calling for more data about the AstraZeneca vaccine to restore public confidence in the jab ahead of a renewed COVID-19 vaccine drive.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders on Monday reached an in-principle deal to bring forward vaccinations for over-50s, and prepare mass vaccination sites for the rest of the population.
However, the plan – to be outlined in detail on Thursday – will rely on greater supply and distribution of vaccines.
Ms Palaszczuk wants to see more data about the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to extremely rare but serious blood clots in under-50s.
She says transparency will maintain confidence in the AstraZeneca jab among people who are still eligible to take it.
“We need to make sure we’ve got confidence, we need to listen to the medical experts. We were briefed yesterday by some of the medical experts, I need to see more of that data,” Ms Palaszczuk told Nine’s Today program on Tuesday.
“We’ll have further discussions and the prime minister will update everyone later on this week, so I just think we need to have those discussions first and review the data.”
The premier said more than 126,000 doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines had been administered in the state.
She again poured cold water on the idea of home quarantine for vaccinated Australian travellers.
A federal proposal to allow home quarantine was to have been discussed by the national cabinet on Monday.
Ms Palaszczuk said while a formal plan wasn’t put to state and territory leaders she’s very concerned about the potential risks.
Vaccines may not protect people from mutant virus strains when they’re travelling overseas.
“The jury’s out on that one, I do have concerns – we’ve got the pandemic raging around countries at the moment, we’ve got mutant strains that are starting to formulate,” the premier said.
“The problem is people going overseas vaccinated, but they could come back with a mutant strain.
“It’s an uncharted world at the moment.”
No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Queensland on Tuesday, where there are 20 active cases.
The premier said nine flights had arrived in the state from New Zealand in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday.
She said another 48 flights will arrive from NZ this week in a boost for local tourism operators.
“Before COVID-19, New Zealand was our second-largest tourism market, behind only China,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament.
“Welcoming more Kiwis to Queensland isn’t just great news for our strong New Zealander population here – it’s also great for business.”