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Covid's growing death toll underlines importance of vaccine boosters: Gerrard

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Recent COVID-19 deaths in Queensland have rammed home the importance of getting vaccination booster shots, the state’s chief health officer says.

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Three more deaths were recorded on Sunday, taking Queensland’s total to 29. One was aged in their 60s, another in their 80s along with a 103-year-old.

Two had received a single dose and the other was double jabbed. All had underlying medical conditions.

Chief health officer John Gerrard says the recent deaths from COVID-19 were a stark reminder for people to get a booster after their second jab.

“There have been few surprises in the sort of person who has died from this,” he said.

“Most of the deaths we are seeing are relatively predictable demographically – older people with severe, underlying medical disorders … who haven’t received the booster.

“The booster really does seem to make a difference … to how severe the illness you are going to get.”

Queensland announced another 17,455 new cases on Sunday, with 670 people in hospital across the state including 49 in intensive care and 16 on ventilators. There are 203,657 active cases in Queensland.

Dr Gerrard urged Queenslanders not to panic if they suspected they had COVID-19 with pressure mounting on the ambulance service and rapid antigen tests in short supply.

“If you have symptoms which are consistent with COVID-19 you should consider yourself positive … and isolate at home,” he said.

“We encourage you … to go to a clinic and have a PCR test.

“There’s no need to panic about that (having COVID-19). The majority of people if they are in good health and are vaccinated will have a mild illness.”

Dr Gerrard said an ambulance should be called only if people had difficulty breathing, significant chest pain or were coughing up blood.

Queensland’s latest figures show 91.59 per cent have had one jab and 88.71 per cent have received two.

Border controls were removed for interstate travellers from 1am on Saturday, with restrictions for international arrivals to be ditched when Queensland hits its 90 per cent double dose target, which is expected in the coming days.

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