COVID-19

No new cases, QLD issues virus warning

Two active cases remain, with nearly 21,500 swabs received on Wednesday.Meanwhile, Queensland health authorities will delay providing the AstraZeneca vaccine to those who are sensitive to anaphylactic responses after four recipients had alarming allergic reactions to the jab in the last 48 hours.Queensland’s Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there will now be “precautionary measures” to advise those who are anaphylactic to delay getting the jab and those who proceed to get the vaccine who suffer from these conditions will be observed in hospitals once they receive the vaccine.“I want to reassure people that we have absolute confidence in our vaccines in Australia, as the Therapeutic Goods Administration has said all along, that there is a risk category there in relation to people who have allergic reactions,” she said.“We expected this, we are prepared for this but we do want to make sure because we are seeing a number of people react to the AstraZeneca that we are letting people know about that and monitoring them for a longer period to make sure that everyone is safe.”The four cases to suffer the alarming response were shared between Ipswich, Toowoomba and Bundaberg, with all having a history of severe allergic reactions, according to Director-General Dr John Wakefield.“Our current policy and the national TGA policy on this is that it is fine for people to have the vaccination unless they have a history of anaphylaxis to products that are in the vaccine itself, so some of the components of the vaccine,” he said.“That is the national guidance and I would remind everybody that there has been millions of doses. Millions of doses of AstraZeneca around the world, safely used. I will be getting my own when it’s my turn.”NSW CASE MAY BE ‘MISSING LINK’Another NSW returned traveller has tested positive to COVID-19 while staying on the same floor where a security guard who tested positive worked.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the news on Wednesday morning and said the case could be the “missing link” health authorities need.It is believed the guard contracted the virus while working on the 11th floor at the Sofitel in Wentworth but officials are yet to determine how, given he did not breach any protocols.A previous returned traveller at the hotel had tested positive, but the link between them and the guard is still unknown.VIC GP CLINICS WHERE YOU CAN BOOK YOUR COVID JABSix million Aussies from today will be able to make an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine from a general practitioner as the next stage of the rollout begins.News Corp Australia can reveal the names of the first 1,104 GP clinics who will begin delivering the AstraZeneca jabs under the stage 1b of the rollout from next Monday.Demand for the shots is so high some of the clinics are already completely booked out for the first week of vaccine delivery.Read the full story and see the list here.FOLEY CONFIDENT ON VACCINE ROLLOUTState Health Minister Martin Foley hopes the only thing delaying Victoria’s vaccine rollout is the distribution of doses from the Federal Government. Mr Foley said he had been in talks with the Commonwealth to ensure distribution across the country was fair and met demand. “We’re in conversations with the Commonwealth and we want to make sure that what the states do and what the Commonwealth does aligns as closely as possible, so there’s a fair distribution of vaccine right across Victorian communities, particularly those communities like here in the west and north that have been at the forefront of COVID issues,” he said. “We want to be in a position where the only thing that holds us back is the provision of vaccine … the more vaccine we get the more we will be able to distribute.”Mr Foley said he was looking forward to getting the AstraZeneca vaccine when his time came. “The most risky, the most vulnerable are first and most appropriate in line,” Mr Foley said. It comes as NewsCorp revealed the names of the first 1,104 GP clinics who will begin delivering the AstraZeneca jabs under the stage 1b of the rollout from next Monday.A total of 1152 GPs in Victoria have been contracted. Most clinics have been allocated just 50 vaccine doses a week. When asked by the Herald Sun if the State Government was concerned about a lacking in supply or the location of selected GPS, Mr Foley reiterated the program was a Federal responsibly. “It’s all dependent on the amount of vaccine that the Commonwealth provide to those primary health care providers and vaccination hubs,” he said. “We think that the only thing that’s going to hold us back is the provision of vaccines from the Commonwealth and that’s why we’re looking forward to discussions with them about certainty of supply so we can ramp up that whole vaccination program.”He said the Commonwealth indicated from next week the CSL in Victoria would be providing up to one million doses a week. “We look forward to that production ramping up and being distributed,” he added. “I’m sure everyone looks to the vaccination program as that important next step. “We look forward it to being a success because it’s a critical milestone on our pathway to recovery. “I urge all Australians, I urge all Victorian’s to take the opportunity that the vaccination program provides as a pathway to recovery. “It’s safe, it’s effective and it will be accessible in your communities.” – Mitchell Clarke

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