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Palmer funds 'dangerous' anti-vax campaign as Palaszczuk finally gets her jab

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As Annastacia Palaszczuk received her first COVID-19 jab today, hoping to build public confidence in the vaccine, queues and misinformation may have stopped others following suit.

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The Premier received the first of two Pfizer shots today, something she said was only delayed by her need to have a flu injection first and a tetanus booster before that.

“Didn’t hurt at all … very easy,” Palaszczuk told the media as she received the injection.

Palaszczuk will have the second shot in the coming weeks as she awaits news of whether a Tokyo trip is needed to celebrate Brisbane securing the 2032 Olympics.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young took the AstraZeneca alternative today, as the pair sought to promote public confidence in the vaccines to guard against COVID-19 and bring an end to the pandemic.

Australia hit the five million doses milestone on Sunday, as Queensland broke its target of 15,000 doses in a single weekend. Despite Queensland’s weekday numbers closing in on 10,000 daily jabs, 18 vaccination hubs were set the target and then delivered 17,032 doses over the two days.

Vaccinations will be available from 50 community pharmacies today, and the government is imposing new planning rules to fast-track more hubs in south-east Queensland, acknowledging that queues were causing frustration at some sites.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said, conversely, low demand in regional areas had prompted a call for people to combine a trip to Townsville for the rugby league State of Origin with a vaccine from the hub at the hospital.

Palaszczuk and Young were previously criticised for delaying their vaccinations and not seeking to promote confidence in the program earlier. D’Ath had already received her first AstraZeneca jab from a GP.

But Palaszczuk insisted she received her first jab as quickly as she could, “for goodness’ sake,” given her need to have other injections. She opted for Pfizer given the possible pending Tokyo trip.

The risk of blood clots with the AstraZeneca vaccine added to public hesitancy and now radio advertisements are running across Queensland claiming that COVID-19 vaccines are potentially deadly.

Over the weekend, wealthy businessman and conservative politician Clive Palmer ran ads warning that COVID-19 vaccines have been linked to 210 deaths.

The figure comes from Therapeutic Goods Administration data showing that of those who have received a vaccine, 210 have since died – of any cause, including other health conditions and accidents, unrelated to the vaccine.

Health experts vowed to complain to the TGA and the Australian Communications Media Authority. One doctor said “Clive Palmer’s take on the COVID vaccine is harmful, dangerous, misinformed, indicates he cannot understand the information on the TGA website, and promotes vaccine hesitancy”.

ACMA has received four complaints it referred to Ad Standards, while the TGA has yet to comment.

Palmer is already in dispute with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Electoral Commission of Queensland and the Queensland Rugby League, among others, and appeared willing to add another lawsuit to his list.

“It’s the regulators that need to regulate and examine the truth about the vaccine and not promote it,” Palmer said, vowing to consult his lawyers on stopping the vaccination rollout.

Palmer had previously been criticised for running newspaper ads promoting alternative and unproven COVID-19 treatments.

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