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A shot with an app chaser to get Queenslanders out of virus lockdown

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday said the results were further good news for Queensland, and thanked people for adhering to social distancing restrictions.

As the government moves to start relaxing those measures by this weekend, Ms Palaszczuk said the one-two combo of getting a flu shot and downloading the federal governments contact tracing phone app would ensure the restrictions could be eased further.

Part of the easing includes students being able to return to school, a decision that will be reviewed on May 15.

“If we keep seeing those really low cases, there is more of a proposition that more can be opened, more contact with students and teachers,” she said.

“The next two weeks are really critical and, as I said yesterday, everything is on the table.”

Ms Palaszczuk has remained firm on her government’s decision to wait until May 15 to reopen schools, with planning under way to ensure parents did not congregate during school pick-up and drop-offs.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk gets a flu shot on Tuesday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk gets a flu shot on Tuesday.Credit:Lydia Lynch

“We are not going to rush this, we are going to get this right and I will not put the lives of our teachers, principals, school community, parents and children at risk,” she said.

At present, schools remain open only to vulnerable students and those whose parents are essential workers.

Despite calling for everyone to get a flu shot, GPs are worried they still can’t get supplies of the vaccine to meet demand.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dilip Dhupelia said many people had tried to get the jab early but there were none to give out.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad was supposed to hand down the state budget on Tuesday.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad was supposed to hand down the state budget on Tuesday.Credit:Dan Peled/AAP

“There was definitely an issue, many general practitioner members of the AMA Queensland were quite angry that they did not receive any priority on what we call ‘private’ vaccines, where people pay for a standard vaccine,” he said.

“It seems there was a real issue with getting that vaccine to GPs this year.”

Despite that, Dr Dhupelia urged everyone to book a time with their GPO or pharmacist to get a flu shot, saying many clinics had set up special express rooms and even drive-through facilities to give people the vaccine in the safest way possible.


Meanwhile, Queensland’s debt bill has blown out again, exacerbated by the massive hit to the economy from virus shutdowns.

On the day she had been scheduled to deliver this year’s budget, state Treasurer Jackie Trad said the coronavirus had delivered a $4 billion punch to the budget bottom line.

“This is much more significant than the GFC and even much more significant than the Great Depression,” Ms Trad said, quoting federal Treasury Secretary Dr Steven Kennedy.

“I want to open our economy as soon as is possible. But we have to make sure that it is guided by the best possible health advice and that we don’t see another spike in cases of coronavirus.”

The number of virus tests done in the state is now more than 100,000, with health authorities saying the fact there has been so few new cases with so many tests is a sign the virus is being successfully contained again.

-with Lydia Lynch and Toby Crockford

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