Health Minister Yvette D’Ath rejects notion about Queensland vaccine complacency
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath ridiculed a suggestion Queensland’s languishing vaccine rate would have benefited from an outbreak to boost jab urgency across the state.
The Palaszczuk government has continued to expand its options for Queenslanders to get vaccinated with 30 pop-up clinics at Bunnings stores now offering the jab, along with new sites at the Brisbane City Hall and the Brisbane Disability Expo at the Royal International Convention Centre in Bowen Hills.
The increased convenience of the rollout comes months after Victoria and NSW — 63.8 and 78.8 per cent fully vaccinated respectively — became more proactive about people getting the jab. In contrast, Queensland has just 55.5 per cent of over 16s fully vaccinated.
Ms D’Ath said this was because until recently Queensland had been hamstrung by supply issues, with the state’s jabs redirected to the eastern neighbours devastated by Covid-19.
The reasoning prompted one reporter to ask the Health Minister if Queensland would have benefited from a “mass outbreak” to quash complacency and boost urgency.
“Wow,” Ms D’Ath said in response, clearly shocked by the assertion.
“There’s over 500 people who have died so far from one outbreak starting on June 16.
“So would it have been better if we would have opened up quickly and have hundreds of thousands of positive cases and hundreds of people die? No.
“We’ve had seven deaths, 2070 cases since day one. Our job is to keep Queenslanders safe and we’re going to do that in a sensible and responsible way.”
The disgust was somewhat puzzling, however, given the Health Minister said on Tuesday the lack of Covid threats in Queensland had created a lack of urgency in large parts outside of Brisbane.
“The regions just haven’t seen any outbreaks, so there’s a fair bit of complacency and a view people can wait,” Ms D’Ath said.
“The task here is everyone taking on the responsibility for themselves — the quicker you get vaccinated, the quicker you have protection.”
Originally published as Health Minister Yvette D’Ath rejects notion about Queensland vaccine complacency
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