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Third dose or death: Top doc's blunt warning to over-70s still not boosted

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The state’s chief health officer has a blunt message for those Queenslanders over 70 who have not received a booster shot against Covid-19 – get a third dose or risk death.

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Dr John Gerrard said he was concerned that 30 per cent of people over 70 still had not received their third jab.

“It (the booster shot) makes a huge difference to your risk of dying or being admitted to intensive care or being admitted to hospital,” he said.

He said nine of the 13 Covid related deaths recorded in Queensland over the past 24 hours were people in aged care, bring the total death toll of aged care residents in Queensland to 127 since the pandemic began.

“We know the third dose makes a big difference to your immune response,” he said.

“I’m concerned at the disproportionate number of people who are dying who have not received that third dose.

“What I can say is that about 70 per cent of Queenslanders above the age of 70 have in fact received the booster, so we are seeing a disproportionate number of deaths in older people who have not received the booster.

“This is quite a considerable concern to us.

“Anyone who is eligible should be going and receiving their third dose of vaccine, that’s anyone who received their second dose more than three months ago should go ahead and get that third dose of the vaccine.

“Even as we pass the peak, this virus is going to be with us for a long time and if you haven’t been exposed to it yet, you will be and this will be here for years.”

Dr Gerrard admitted he was mystified why it has been so difficult to ensure all aged care residents had not received their booster shot.

“It is hard to understand why so many in residential aged care have not received their booster shot,” he said.

“This virus s going to be here for a long time and if you haven’t been exposed to it yet you will be,” he said.

“We know the third dose makes a big difference to your immune response,” he said.

Gerrard said vaccinations were the reason why “we are not seeing many thousands of people in hospital at the moment”.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles again blasted the federal government’s record in ensuring aged care residents received a third vaccine dose.

“If they were getting boosted, there wouldn’t be as many deaths as they are,” he said.

Queensland’s overall Covid death toll stands at 247, with 732 people in hospital with the virus.

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