By Lydia Lynch
People who have experienced anaphylactic reactions to food or bee stings have been told to hold off on receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine after four people in Queensland suffered allergic reactions to the jab in the past two days.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said people who had “serious, significant” anaphylactic reactions in the past should delay getting the vaccine.
She insisted the AstraZeneca was a “safe vaccine”.
“People should not be concerned,” Ms D’Ath said.
“This issue is being raised at a national level.“
The nation’s chief health officers were due to meet in Canberra on Wednesday for their first face-to-face meeting since the start of the pandemic.
People who have suffered severe allergic reactions have been told to delay getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Ms D’Ath said those who had severe reactions in the past and still wanted the jab would be observed for longer after receiving the vaccine.
“To the rest of the people who have not reported ever having a severe allergic reaction in the past, we will be making sure we are monitoring them for half-an-hour now, just to be sure.”
Queensland Health Director-General John Wakefield said there had been four cases of anaphylaxis in the past 48 hours, one at Bundaberg, one at Toowoomba and two at Ipswich.
“All of those cases had treatment immediately – we are trained in that, we are very skilled at providing that, they have all gone home after a period of monitoring.
“They are all safe.
Dr Wakefield said the state always expected some people to have allergic reactions.
He said the extra monitoring period was “an extra blanket of safety”.
“I would remind everybody that there has been millions of doses of AstraZeneca around the world safely used. I will be getting my own when it is my turn.“
Dr Wakefield said a total of five people have had allergic reactions to coronavirus vaccines in the state: the four with AstraZeneca and a Gold Coast health worker who reacted to the Pfizer jab earlier this month.
No new local cases of coronavirus were detected on Wednesday but six people were diagnosed in hotel quarantine, bringing the total active cases in the state to 41.
Half of the new cases detected on Wednesday were returned travellers from Papua New Guinea.
A cluster of three cases linked to a quarantine hotel in Brisbane’s CBD have not grown since first identified on Friday.
About 400 people came in contact with the doctor and 77 per cent of those people had since been tested and returned negative results.
Hotel Grand Chancellor staff who worked during the riskiest transmission period, from March 5-9, were tested on Monday and have all returned negative results.
Authorities have been unable to rule out further spread inside the hotel, with test results from some guests yet to be analysed.
Both positive patients were staying on level 1 of the hotel but their rooms were not close to one another.
The hotel was put into lockdown on Sunday and stopped accepting more returned travellers.