Queensland records 16 deaths, including child



Another 16 people have died with COVID-19 in Queensland including a child under the age of 10 amid calls for more kids to get vaccinated before school returns.

Queensland recorded 9630 new cases after 22,437 tests in the past 24 hours.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said the child who died had a “very serious underlying, rare, inherited medical condition”.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the news was “absolutely devastating”.

“It’s our very sad duty today to have to report our first young child that has passed away due to COVID,” she said on Wednesday.

“It’s absolutely devastating to wake up to hear that news.

“Can I … please urge families to get their children vaccinated. School goes back next week, we are expecting to see increased numbers of cases.

“It is entirely a decision for parents, but unfortunately there are young people that do succumb to this virus.”

Dr Gerrard and Health Minister Yvette D’Ath backed the Premier, saying vaccination rates for 5-11 and 12-15 age groups had to lift after slowing down before school returns.

The 5-11 group is at 35 per cent first dose while 75.5 per cent of 12-15-year-olds have had one jab and 67.54 per cent are double dosed.

“I hope parents have not become complacent,” Dr Gerrard said.

“I don’t want parents to be frightened but if I had a child going back to school I would want them to be vaccinated.”

Ms D’Ath said child vaccination rates were “too low”.

“There is no reason whatsoever… that our child vaccinations shouldn’t be at the same rate (as adults),” she said.

The latest figures show that 92.03 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had one vaccine dose, while 89.63 per cent have had two.

Six of the 16 people who died were not vaccinated and only two had boosters.

Two were aged in their 50s, five in their 70s, three in their 80s and five in their 90s.

Seven deaths occurred in residential aged care, taking the total to 114.

It prompted renewed calls from Ms D’Ath for the federal government to reveal how many in aged care had received a booster.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has accused Ms D’Ath of trying to “shift the blame” by raising concerns over aged care’s booster access, prompting her to return fire on Wednesday.

Ms D’Ath doubled down, saying disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sectors that also fell under the federal government’s responsibility had also raised concerns.

“So if there is any blame shifting going on here it is the Commonwealth, it is Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt when it comes to aged care,” she said.

“It is my responsibility … to raise these concerns because stakeholders are raising them with me.

“It would be irresponsible of me to remain silent … we want to see that data.”

Overall there have been 218 COVID-19 deaths since December 13.

Dr Gerrard said hospital numbers were steadily declining with 764 being treated (down from 801 on Tuesday), with 49 in intensive care and 23 on ventilators.

In private hospitals, 74 were being treated for COVID-19 — down from 67 on Tuesday — with one in ICU.


We’ve Already Come Too Far To End This Now.

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