Prue says she was warned against getting a drug test after her drink was spiked. She’s not alone


Prue McLardie-Hore says she was celebrating her 20th birthday at a bar on Melbourne’s Brunswick Street the first time she had her drink spiked.

“A man approached me at the bar, he must have said something to me — I turned my back on my drink,” she said.

“Twenty minutes later, I was outside screaming ‘I’ve been spiked, I’ve been spiked’.”

The 24-year-old Melbourne law student was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital emergency department by her mother, where she experienced hallucinations and paranoia.

“I thought I saw the man who I presumed to have spiked me in the hospital,” she said.

When Ms McLardie-Hore’s mother, Fiona, asked the hospital to drug-test her daughter, she said the nurses told her to “think carefully” about the potential consequences for Prue.

“They said if you test positive for something, that could go on your permanent record, and that can affect future job prospects in cases where you have to declare that you’ve taken drugs,” Fiona McLardie-Hore said.

“I said, but she’s been spiked, she hasn’t chosen to take this. And they just said, ‘well, you can’t prove that’.”

Employment lawyers at legal firm Maurice Blackburn have told the ABC that patient consent is usually required before any medical records can be disclosed.

Fiona, who is also a registered nurse, said she was “shocked” by the advice.

“I just thought, this has been done to her and we don’t know what she’s been given. And basically, we’re not allowed to know what was given to her,” she said.

Concerned it would derail any future career in law, Prue McLardie-Hore never ended up getting tested, nor did she report the incident to police.

“Because of the hospital’s response, I thought there would be a similar response from other institutions — I didn’t feel comfortable pursuing it,” she said.

“I was very worried that it would go against my record and potentially affect my future employment.”

In a statement, a St Vincent’s spokesperson said the hospital acknowledged the seriousness of drink spiking and tried in all suspected cases to respond with supportive medical care.

“As a hospital, we carry out toxicology screening for medical purposes, where required to determine the appropriate course of care. Toxicology results are protected by patient confidentiality,” the spokesperson said.

It would end up taking Prue more than a week to physically recover.

But just a couple of years later, when she said her drink was spiked a second time, Ms McLardie-Hore decided against going to a hospital.

Instead, she went to a private lab to get tested.

Having taken the nurse’s warning to heart, it was an off-the-books drug screening — conducted to give her peace of mind about what she’d taken, but with the added plus of not leaving an official record.

She said she tested positive for benzodiazepines, with the drug most likely to be Rohypnol.

This time around, Ms McLardie-Hore said she was “completely knocked out” after just one drink.

“I thought I had done everything that you’re supposed to do to protect yourself. And the fact that it had happened again was really upsetting,” she said.

A few days after the suspected spiking, Fiona reported the incident to police and handed over security footage from the venue, but never heard back.

Police told the ABC it was ultimately deemed “non-suspicious” by investigators.

For Kalli Horomidis, the response to her daughter’s suspected drink spiking has been similarly frustrating.

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37 doctors test positive for COVID-19 at Delhi’s Sir Gangaram Hospital


New Delhi: At least 37 doctors of Delhi’s Sir Gangaram Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus, as per the hospital sources on Thursday.

“37 doctors of the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 while treating COVID-19 patients at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. A majority of these Health Care Warriors have mild symptoms. 32 doctors are in home isolation and 5 are admitted in the hospital”, informed hospital sources.

 

Meanwhile, Delhi Government has issued an order directing 115 private hospitals to reserve 50 per cent of their total ICU and ward bed capacity for COVID-19 patients amid the massive spike in coronavirus cases.

Also, Delhi Government ordered an increase in the total number of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients from presently 1000 to 1500 at Lok Nayak Hospital and from 500 to 1000 at GTB Hospital.

It also ordered Dental and Ayush doctors to be deployed at COVID-19 hospitals in Delhi.

In view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a meeting with chief ministers amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in several states.

 

“The number of tests being done on daily basis needs to be significantly increased with the aim to reduce positivity to 5% or less, with focused and targeted testing in containment zones and areas where clusters of cases are being reported,” said PM Modi during a meeting with Chief Ministers.

Delhi reported a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases by registering as many as 7,437 fresh cases and 24 related deaths in last 24 hours, the health department informed on Thursday evening. 5,506 cases were reported on Wednesday.

Thursday’s spike was the highest single-day rise witnessed in Delhi since November 19 last year when 7,546 COVID-19 cases were registered.

 

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4 men who came to participate in ONE Championship MMA event test positive for COVID-19


SINGAPORE: Four men who recently arrived in Singapore to participate in a ONE Championship mixed martial arts event in Singapore, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Responding on Thursday (Apr 8) to CNA’s queries sent on Tuesday, ONE Championship confirmed that the men had arrived from Brazil, Canada and Serbia for its Thursday’s event titled: ONE on TNT I.

“One foreign participant who was on the same flight as one of these individuals also tested positive for COVID-19,” said ONE, adding that he was isolated upon arrival in Singapore. 

ONE did not specify where the fourth person travelled from. 

The three men who arrived from Brazil, Canada and Serbia, were reported as COVID-19 cases on Monday. They are known as Cases 61571, 61577 and 61578 respectively in the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) daily updates on the outbreak situation.

MOH had said that the three men, aged between 23 and 33, arrived on short-term visit passes “to participate in a sporting event”.

On Wednesday, MOH said that another man who arrived from Canada, and tested positive for COVID-19, is a contact of Case 61577, the previously reported case from Canada. 

Known as Case 61624, the ministry said the 35-year-old also entered Singapore for a sporting event.

ONE Championship declined to name all the participants who tested positive.

ONE MAN DISCHARGED, ALLOWED TO JOIN EVENT

All four participants tested negative for COVID-19 before flying into Singapore, said ONE Championship on Thursday.

“As part of the stringent protocols for foreign participants, they were placed in isolation upon arrival,” it added.

The four men were taken to a hospital for treatment after testing positive and serological tests were conducted to determine if their infections were current.

One of the men has been discharged from hospital as his serological test result came back positive, indicating a likely past infection, said ONE Championship.

“As an added precaution, he had undergone a (polymerase chain reaction) test on Apr 6 and tested negative for COVID-19. As such, he will be allowed to participate in the event.”

No further information was given for the three other foreign participants. 

The mixed martial arts event, ONE on TNT I, was held on Thursday and is a “closed-door production” without any spectators, said ONE Championship.

“In line with ONE’s protocols and the Singapore Government’s regulations, all foreign and local-based athletes and cornermen must be isolated until they receive a negative test result, after which they will follow a strictly controlled itinerary that has been pre-approved.

“Public health and safety remain our top priority. We will continue to work with the Singapore Government to ensure the safety of our athletes, crew and community,” said ONE Championship.

READ: One Championship vows strict COVID-19 measures for Singapore MMA

With the latest cases, a total of seven COVID-19 cases have since been reported among ONE Championship event participants since the company restarted international events in October last year.

Last October, two cornermen tested positive as part of screening protocols ahead of a live sporting event.

Both men had tested negative before flying into Singapore from the US and Russia, and tested negative on arrival as well.

Last November, another cornerman tested positive upon arrival from Belarus.

According to its website, ONE Championship is Asia’s biggest mixed martial arts promoter with offices in 10 cities, including Singapore.

Its institutional investors include Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Iconiq Capital, Greenoaks Capital and Mission Holdings.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

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Navy submarine suffered long-term damage to ballast tank from errant test: report


OTTAWA —
An internal Defence Department report has pulled back the curtain on the damage caused by an errant test on one of Canada’s four submarines last year, suggesting some of the damage is permanent and could continue to pose a risk over the long term.

Obtained by The Canadian Press through Access to Information, the report represents another setback for Canada’s four submarines, which have spent more time in repairs than at sea since being bought second-hand from Britain in 1998.

HMCS Corner Brook has been hit particularly hard, with the vessel docked for extensive repairs and maintenance for the past six years after striking the bottom of the ocean off B.C. in 2011. A fire also broke out while it was docked in Victoria in August 2019.

The report confirms that one of Corner Brook’s main ballast tanks ruptured last March during a test by Babcock Canada, which has been contracted to maintain and repair the sub fleet since 2008. The government recently extended Babcock’s contract to 2023.

“The test consisted of the tank being largely filled by water with air added to apply the required test pressure,” reads the Aug. 6, 2020 report prepared for the deputy minister of the Department of National Defence.

“After the tank successfully met this requirement, the final step was to drain the tank. This was intended to be done by gravity, however members of the test team attempted to accelerate drainage of the tank by re-applying pressure.

“In doing so, they inadvertently over-pressurized the tank and caused it to rupture.”

Defence officials have previously said the incident would delay the Navy’s plans to get the Corner Brook back in the water. The submarine was supposed to return to service last summer, but will now remain docked until at least June.

Yet the report suggests even after repairs are done, some of the damage will be lasting and will need to be monitored by the Navy.

“A full repair of the damage is impractical and would not be economical,” the report reads. “There is the potential that the post-repaired condition will still present undesirable risk, in which case the residual risk will be presented to the Navy for acceptance.”

The report underscores the importance of maintaining the “structural integrity” of main ballast tanks to the safe operation of a submarine. They are used in controlling whether the vessel goes up or down in the water.

“Otherwise the submarine may not be able to surface (including surfacing from depth in an emergency due to flooding) or remain stable on the surface, either of which could lead to loss of the submarine,” the report reads.

Despite the damage, the report said the repairs and upgrades done to the Corner Brook since it was last in the water would see the submarine “in a significantly refreshed and modernized state, ready to operate for nine years.”

Canada’s top military procurement official said in an interview last week that the ballast tank was successfully tested recently and the plan remains to have the Corner Brook back at sea in the summer.

“When it goes to the sea, it will be safe and fit for purpose,” added Troy Crosby, the assistant deputy minister of materiel at the Department of National Defence.

“There’s always an ongoing monitoring happening, but … it’ll be safe, and it’ll be fit for purpose.”

Crosby would not speak to whether the submarine will be limited in what it can do, however. The military has previously imposed limitations or restrictions on other equipment, such as its Cyclone helicopters, after safety concerns were identified.

“The limitation that may be imposed on the submarine will … allow the submarine to do what it needs to do operationally with the Navy,” he said.

“It’s an awkward area simply because of the sensitivity around capabilities. We get into an area of sensitive information around operational capabilities that we just can’t get into the details.”

The report indicates that Babcock planned to “accept liability for the direct repair cost,” but that “indirect costs will be the subject of negotiations between Canada and (Babcock).” Crosby said there was no plan to sue the company for the mistake.

“The contractor is honouring their obligation,” he said. “They were very good about their response to that and we’ll have the submarine, as they say, repaired and we’ll move on from there.”

Questions about the benefits and costs of Canada’s submarines have circulated since Ottawa purchased the vessels second hand from Britain. The fleet was recently docked for more than a year, and the Defence Department says they cost $300 million a year to maintain.

Military officials, however, have called them critical to monitoring the waters off Canada’s coasts for potential adversaries. The Defence Department says HMCS Windsor and HMCS Victoria are now in the water undergoing tests after extended upgrades and repairs.

The government promised in 2017 to extend the lives of the submarines, with sources pegging the cost at more than $2 billion to keep them operating for the next decade. Crosby said work on those upgrades is underway and will be implemented over the next few years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2021.



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Why parents of twins, triplets or multiples should test children for zygosity


In the world of twins, triplets or multiples, it is not uncommon to scroll past online social media posts where other parents have asked, ‘Do my kids look identical?’

This conundrum can be solved by testing for zygosity — how genetically similar, or different, a twin pairs’ DNA is — but experts say many parents are misinformed about whether their twins are identical or not.

When Leila Jane gave birth to her twin boys Jamie and Brent 16 years ago, she was told [by doctors] they could not be identical because they had separate placentas and separate sacs.

Seven years passed and Ms Jane said she was perplexed because Jamie and Brent had the same hair and eye colour, and others were unable to tell them apart.

“Ever since they started school, everyone asked if they were identical or not, I would just say, ‘I don’t know’, so I decided to find out for sure,” she said.

Identical twins occur when one egg is fertilised by one sperm, which splits. If two eggs are released and are fertilised by two separate sperm, fraternal or non-identical twins are formed.

Identical and fraternal twin pairs can be identified by how many eggs they developed from and if they shared a placenta in the womb. But as the science of twinning advances, these methods have been deemed less reliable by experts.

During a twin pregnancy, there may be one or two placentas, amniotic sacs and chorions. If two babies are enclosed within the one placenta, they are thought to be identical, while two babies in two separate placentas are thought to be fraternal.

But according to the Australian Multiple Births Association, all same-sex fraternal twins and about one-third of identical twin pairs have separate placentas, which means the number of placentas in utero is not always an accurate way to determine zygosity.

Multiple births account for 1.5 per cent of all Australian births (or 4,501), and one in every three sets of twins is identical.

Unlike fraternal twins, identical twins share almost exactly the same DNA code with each other because they were formed from one fertilised sperm and egg.

Knowing if twins are identical supports bonding and can bring a sense of certainty around identity.

In sharing most of the same genetic material, there are also medical benefits, including compatibility for organ donation and early intervention for diseases.

Ashlee Tenberge, a twin-mum to identical girls and chairperson of the board of directors at the Australian Multiple Births Association, said their awareness campaign hoped to simplify “the mechanics of twinning”.

“With the predisposition for disease, having one twin or multiple diagnosed with an illness is important to know,” she said.

“For that subgroup of twins to have been incorrectly diagnosed as identical or fraternal, those health risks are prolonged until such time [as they are tested].”

Studies show many people still rely on physical appearances, behaviours and stereotypes to work out what type of twins they have.

“Our girls look very alike’, ‘my twin sister and I do not look exactly the same’ and ‘both boys have autism’,” responses in the report said.

Gold Coast mother of two, Peta Atama, is a member of the Gold Coast Multiple Births Association, which supports more than 700 local parents of multiples.

Ms Atama conceived her 13-month-old identical twin girls Aiyla and Aiesha through sperm donation and in-vitro fertilisation.

She had only one egg transferred, so when the doctor announced there were two heartbeats at her seven-week scan, she knew they were identical.

“I had the one egg. There was only one way it got there, so I knew they had definitely come from the one egg, which had split, and were identical.”

“With the type of twin they were, they’d share that high rate of DNA which is like 99 per cent. That was freaky and made it a more high-risk pregnancy, but I thought, ‘They chose me, so here we go’.”

Ms Atama said the bond her identical twins share is ‘unique’ and ensures they will walk through life with the constant support of each other.

“I hear all these stories about how one has the feelings of the other, which must be amazing, what drives that connection and the invisible thread that holds them together,” she said.

Aiyla and Aiesha are healthy and happy babies but testing for zygosity will help if they ever find themselves in strife.

“If one child has come down with something, they may test the other to see if that gene is there. From that aspect, it’s super important that you can protect your children as much as you can.”

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North Korea fires ‘ballistic missile’ into the sea days after ‘short range weapon test’ – World News


North Korea has fired a ‘ballistic missile’ into the sea, Japan’s defence ministry said, days after the secretive state completed a short-range missile test.

The military in neighbouring South Korea reported an “unidentified projectile” had been fired off the peninsula’s east coast into the sea on Thursday.

North Korea’s ballistic missiles are banned under UN Security Council Resolutions, and if the launch is confirmed, it would represent the first ballistic-missile test launch under new U.S. President Joe Biden.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff did not identify or elaborate on what the projectile was or when it was launched.

It may have been a ballistic missile, a spokesman for Japan’s defence ministry said.



Ballistic missiles are banned in North Korea under UN resolutions

He said: “It has not fallen within Japanese territory and is not believed to have come down within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.”

Earlier the Japanese coast guard warned ships against coming close to any fallen objects and instead asked them to provide information to the coast guard.

Yonhap News Agency reports that South Korean has convened an emergency National Security Council meeting on the launches.

It comes after North Korea fired two short-range missiles at the weekend, U.S. and South Korean officials said.

But the US played down the first such tests under Joe Biden and said it was still open to dialogue with Pyongyang.



People watch a television news broadcast showing a file image of a North Korean missile test
The North Korean missile test took place at the weekend



North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) attends ground-breaking ceremony of a construction project for building 10000 apartments in Pyongyang
The secretive state is in a deadlock with the US over its missile tests

North Korea said it would not engage until the US dropped its ‘hostile policies’, including carrying out military drills with South Korea.

The country has not tested a intercontinental ballistic missile in more than three years, but has continued production of nuclear weapons.

News of the launches comes a week after Kim Yo Jong, sister of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, sent a warning to Joe Biden.

“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land,” she said, the North Korean state news agency reports.

“If it wants to sleep in peace for [the] coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”



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Cuba to test homegrown coronavirus vaccine on nearly entire population of Havana – National


Cuba will administer experimental COVID-19 shots to nearly the entire population of the capital Havana by May as health authorities carry out massive interventional studies and late stage trials, officials said on Tuesday.

Cuba, which has a long history of developing and exporting vaccines, this month began late phase trials of two of its five experimental shots, Soberana 2 and Abdala, which will be Latin America’s first homegrown COVID-19 vaccines if they prove successful.

Ileana Morales, the health ministry’s director of science and technological innovation, said on a roundtable broadcast on state television that authorities would conduct an intervention study in 1.7 million people in Havana by May.

That comes on top of one it has already started for 150,000 frontline workers in the city, which is estimated to have 2.1 million inhabitants.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Cuba says 2 drugs have reduced its death toll

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Cuba’s capital is at the center of its worst coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic, registering 292 cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared with a nationwide average of 103.5, Deputy Health Minister Carilda Peña said.

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Authorities could seek approval for emergency use of Abdala and Soberana 2, which both target the spike protein of the novel coronavirus, in June, Morales said.

“With the approval of emergency use… we would be on track to a more massive vaccination of the population,” said Morales.

That mass vaccination would start with the most at-risk groups including the over-60 and health care workers. By August, six million people should have received a vaccine, with all Cuba’s 11 million inhabitants vaccinated by year-end, Morales said.


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Canadians travel to Cuba after quarantine restrictions lifted


Canadians travel to Cuba after quarantine restrictions lifted – Sep 8, 2020

Cuba is registering 600 to 1,000 new cases a day, well above the scores or a handful per day for most of last year. Since the pandemic started, the country has reported 68,250 cases and 401 deaths, one of the lowest rates in the world per capita.

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Government critics have said Cuba should have purchased approved vaccines from abroad to kick off its immunization campaign while it completed trials on its homegrown vaccines.

The country developed a large biotech sector partly in order to become self sufficient in the face of a crippling U.S. trade embargo. Venezuela and Iran, which also face U.S. sanctions, say they will also trial the Cuban COVID-19 vaccines, which have attracted the interest of other countries like Mexico and Jamaica.

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; editing by Richard Pullin)

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Cricket news: Australia vs India 2001 Test series, VVS Laxman, Test cricket, Rahul Dravid,


Three days before the second Test in Calcutta, 2001, – a Test for the ages – VVS Laxman aggravated his back. He shouldn’t have played. He got to “60 per cent” fitness when coach John Wright and newly appointed skipper Sourav Ganguly gave him the nod.

At 60 per cent fitness, Laxman, together with his good friend Rahul Dravid, would bat for the entire fourth day in stifling heat and humidity to register India’s highest individual score and break Australia’s hearts and resolve after Steve Waugh’s men had sent the home side into bat again with the series within their grasps.

Laxman and Dravid would walk off Eden Gardens into the pavilion and have a drip inserted to hydrate their weary and dehydrated bodies, before having dinner at Ganguly’s home and dining with his parents.

For Laxman and the person that kept wicket all day behind him, Adam Gilchrist, the fourth day of cricket wouldn’t just change the way they approach the game, but life.

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Sydney Swans superstar Lance Franklin passes big test in comeback bid, as club bloods prized trio


The Swans are increasingly confident Franklin will be back for at least one of those games. The four-time Coleman Medallist has played in just one of the Swans’ past 26 matches due to a series of soft-tissue injuries, the latest being a calf complaint which is delaying his start to the year.

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“He continues to progress well and completed a 13-kilometre football session on the weekend,” the Swans’ head physiotherapist Damian Raper said. “He continues to train fully with the group and will look at a return to play early in the season.”

Reid had his right elbow in a brace last week but the Swans expect him to be available to lead what will be an inexperienced forward line.

Prized picks from last year’s draft, Logan McDonald, Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden will all make their senior debuts against Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.

The Swans last named three first-year players to make their debut in a season-opener in 1990 when future champion Paul Kelly, Brad Tunbridge and Shane Fell all came through.

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McDonald is the club’s long-term successor to Franklin in the goal square while Gulden, a forward, and young gun Campbell are both highly rated graduates from the Swans’ Academy. Swans coach John Longmire broke the news to the players at a team meeting on Tuesday.

“It’s a bit surreal and also a bit of a shock, I think,” McDonald, the No.4 pick from last year’s draft, said. “I’m just over the moon. It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Campbell, the No.5 selection, also comes with a big reputation as a silky-skilled midfielder though he has been earmarked to play across half-back in his rookie season.

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No sign of community transmission linked to COVID-infected Brisbane doctor so far as more than half of close contacts test negative


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says there is no sign of community transmission linked to a COVID-infected Brisbane doctor so far, as more than half of her close contacts have returned negative test results.

The hotel was sent into a 72-hour lockdown on Sunday, with guests unable to leave or enter the building.

Queensland recorded no locally acquired cases and conducted 7,000 tests in the past 24 hours.

Queensland’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said authorities were still working through the information from the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

She said all staff who worked during the risk period between March 5 to 9 were tested yesterday.

All hotel guests who left from March 1 had also been asked to isolate and get tested

Dr Bennett said hotel quarantine guests who stayed on level one of the hotel during the risk period would need to have their quarantine extended for 14 days from March 9.

For all other guests who stayed on different floors, she said a decision would be made tomorrow as to whether their quarantine would be extended as a precaution.

Ms Palaszczuk said she spoke to Prime Minister Scott Morrison last night regarding a spike in infections in Papua New Guinea and would be talking to him again today.

“I’m not going to go into any further details until I get an update later on tonight, but I can say that the state and the federal government are treating the issues of infections in Papua New Guinea very seriously,” she said.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the entire 1A vaccine cohort were on track to have received a COVID-19 vaccination within two weeks.

She said as of this morning, 6,000 of the 10,000 staff at the Gold Coast University Hospital had been vaccinated.

“No one in 1A is missing out or having their booking cancelled to give it to someone else — they are arriving, they’re getting vaccinated,” Ms D’Ath said.

The Health Minister said additional vaccination “left over” from the dose were not being wasted but would be used to vaccinate other hospital staff that were available at the time.

“It’s changing daily as to how much Pfizer and AstraZeneca we have, so we are having to adapt so quickly and that is why we’ve stood up an extra 14 sites, this week,” she said.

“We are working to the Commonwealth target of having every Queenslander that is eligible vaccinated with a first vaccine by the end of October and that’s the target we’re working towards, if we get the supply.”

Dr Bennett said reports of blood clotting from those receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in Norway did not appear to be any higher than what would normally be expected in the community.

“It’s also important to note that the UK has probably distributed far more of the AstraZeneca vaccine than anyone and hasn’t seen that particular signal so every country is monitoring for safety and adverse events,” she said.

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