Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has fallen after defending her decision to get the Pfizer shot – despite being eligible for AstraZeneca – so she can travel abroad.
Ms Palaszczuk finally got her first dose of the jab on Monday morning after weeks of public backlash over her perceived hesitation or lack of urgency.
The 51-year-old, who was the last state or territory leader to be vaccinated, later took to Twitter to explain why she had the Pfizer, despite government advice that people over 50 should get AstraZeneca.
“Today I got the Pfizer vaccine in case I have to go to Tokyo for the Olympics,” she later wrote on Twitter, alongside a link to sign up for a vaccination with Queensland Health.
The Premier of Queensland is the last Australian state or territory leader over the age of 50 to receive the jab (pictured Monday)
But outraged Australians dismissed her reasoning as “tone deaf” and “elitist,” as international travel restrictions on the public remain in place.
‘Oh, you’re going to Tokyo? How nice of you,’ one person commented. ‘
“I mean, a lot of us haven’t seen our families in years, but hey, we can’t all be very important people doing very important things. Have such a nice time!’
Another added: This is confused. Millions of Australians want to see their families but can’t leave and you’re getting vaccinated so you can go to the Olympics.”
“Absolutely tone-deaf when people haven’t seen their family in over a year,” someone else shouted.
Others shared their personal stories of how they were personally affected by the closing of the borders, and one of them described Ms Palaszczuk’s move as a “slap in the face.”
It took me over six months, seven canceled flights and over $10,000 to fly back to Australia to hug my terminally ill mother one last time and you’re talking ‘need’ to go to the Olympics? Absolute joke and a kick in the guts for stranded Aussies. Assuming home isolation also on return,” someone writes.
“Well, that’s a slap in the face twice. First, of course, you put off getting the AZ as long as you could, because it would take too long to get the 2nd dose, and second, to leave the country for no reason. What a life..I have no choice! Not something I would brag about on social media,” another added.
The Premier of Queensland later took to Twitter (pictured) to defend her choice to receive the Pfizer vaccine over AstraZeneca
The example of Ms Palaszczuk and Prime Minister Scott Morrison getting Pfizer shots was cited by many over-50s who had refused the AstraZeneca vaccine now available to them.
Instead, many are sticking to Pfizer or Moderna when they become available later this year, believing the leaders’ example indicated they were better options.
The prime minister said earlier on Monday that she had to get Pfizer to ensure she got her second dose for a possible trip to Tokyo next month as part of the bid for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
“There may be a requirement for the state to present to the entire (International) Olympic Committee about the Olympics, and I wouldn’t have been unvaccinated and that’s why I had the Pfizer,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
Outraged Australians took to the comment section of the Prime Minister’s tweet to dismiss her reasoning for breaking protocol
Many criticized Ms Palaszczuk for traveling abroad, while international border restrictions have separated families for months
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would not travel to Tokyo but would meet his Japanese counterpart at the upcoming G7 in the UK.
However, some felt that there was no reason for Ms Palaszczuk to travel abroad while ordinary Australians were trapped on home soil.
‘I’m only a few months into my 50s, with a compromised immune system and yet I had to AZ! Why should anyone involved in the Olympics get special treatment,” a woman replied to Ms Palaszczuk’s tweet.
“This is bad optics. I understand the intended message is that vaccinating is our ticket to travel/open borders, but this smacks of political elitism alienating people,” added another.
But a minority of people defended Ms Palaszcuk’s trip to Japan, claiming it was “part of her job” because she had to push Australia’s “national agenda”.
The Premier of Queensland is the last Australian state or territory leader over the age of 50 to receive the jab.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, 57, was given the AstraZeneca vaccine Monday morning.
As part of the Queensland 1B cohort, Ms Palaszczuk and Dr Young have been eligible for a vaccine since the end of March.
The prime minister said she received the vaccine on the first day of its release in February, but turned it down because she didn’t want to queue.
In mid-April, Ms Palaszczuk said she was unable to get her COVID-19 shot because she had had a flu shot first and had to wait two weeks.
Ms Palaszczuk said last week she initially postponed her COVID-19 vaccination because she had to get a tetanus shot after her dog bit her during a play fight in her backyard.
Gladys Berejiklian has already received her second shot of AstraZeneca (pictured on June 2)
Queensland launched a vaccination blitz this weekend, resulting in 17,032 doses being administered statewide.
The state government opened 18 vaccine hubs to all aged care workers or people aged 40-49 who had signed up for the shot.
More than 936,000 doses have been delivered to approximately 92,500 fully vaccinated people in Queensland.
Pharmacies will also join the vaccination campaign on Monday, with Queensland becoming the first state to give chemists the green light to do so from the federal government.
Nearly 50 pharmacies in remote and regional areas are allowed to give customers the shot.
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk threw up the gauntlet for the federal government after receiving a list of criteria for the construction of a special Commonwealth quarantine facility in Queensland.
“If the Commonwealth wants to set the criteria, they can design the facility, they can build the facility, they can pay for the facility, and they can run the facility,” she said.
“After all, quarantine is a federal government responsibility.”
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Palaszczuk’s office for comment.