Qld premier downplays vaccine death link

An elderly woman in Queensland has died hours after receiving her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
An elderly woman in Queensland has died hours after receiving her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The Queensland premier says she has full confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout amid a probe into the death of an elderly woman hours after receiving the jab.

The 82-year-old, who had a medical condition, received the Pfizer vaccine at the Springwood Yurana Aged Care Facility on Wednesday, then died in the afternoon.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is investigating but national Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said there are no signs of any causal link to the vaccine.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said "sadly, inevitably and agonisingly" thousands of people die in aged care every week.

"Drawing the causation - causal link - after an event such as that is something we have to be very very careful about," he told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.

"That is something all the authorities have emphasised, particularly the chief medical officer and particularly the head of the TGA."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said every death is a tragedy but she has full confidence in the vaccine drive, with 100,000 doses delivered in the state by Thursday.

"The benefits outweigh the negatives, and ... we didn't even have the option of a vaccine 12 months ago when we started going into this pandemic, so there is light at the end of the tunnel," she told reporters.

The premier is expecting a full briefing on the investigation from the prime minister at national cabinet on Friday.

She said the probe was important for public confidence amid European concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine and perceived but unproven links to blood clotting.

Ms Palaszczuk is open to setting up a mass vaccination centre, but said supplies from the federal government are too unpredictable to do so.

Her preference for now is for GPs and pharmacies to handle the rollout.

"If you're going to have a mass vaccination centre, you need to have a lot of vaccines," she said.

"So, once again, you can't have all this demand and not have the supply to meet it. And the last thing I want to see is thousands of people turning up to a centre and not having the vaccine."

The federal government publishing daily statistics on vaccine supplies would help planning and logistics for the rollout, the premier said.

Deputy Opposition Leader David Janetzki said instead of constantly bickering over vaccine supplies, the state government should focus on supporting businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

He said payroll tax bills should be deferred for struggling businesses and those hit by last week's lockdown in Greater Brisbane.

"They will be paying back payroll tax at a time when they are struggling, and there are businesses that have struggled all the way through coronavirus. Others have done well but there is an opportunity to make sure that those that have suffered the most get a leg up," Mr Janetzki told reporters.

Queensland recorded three new cases on Thursday, all already in hotel quarantine, taking the number of active cases to 68.

Australian Associated Press