Who will take over from Dr Jeanette Young? Queensland’s new CHO

Oct 05, 2021
Dr Jeanette Young has made quick decisions about Queensland's border and lockdowns. Source: Getty

During Tuesday’s daily Covid-19 press conference, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the appointment of a new Chief Health Officer (CHO), Dr Krispin Hajkowicz, to replace current CHO Dr Jeanette Young.

Dr Hajkowicz is immensely qualified for this role. As the current director of infectious diseases at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Dr Hajkowicz has been coordinating all of Queensland’s Covid-19 hospitals during the pandemic so far.

Having worked through four different pandemics, Dr Hajkowicz is “the perfect person to take over”, according to Dr Young.

“I’ve been going to him for the last two years for advice. He has been the lead in the treatment and management of COVID cases.”

 

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Dr Young will be leaving her position in November 2021 to become the Governor of Queensland.

Dr Young has faced intense criticism for Queensland’s handling of its borders over the duration of the pandemic. In September, Dr Young was criticised for her strong border stance, during a press conference when asked “what level of death” she would be comfortable with when reopening Queensland to the rest of Australia.

Dr Young said:

“I stand up here every day, I went into medicine to save lives.

“I’m not comfortable with any deaths that are preventable so that’s why I want every single Queenslander to get vaccinated because that is the best protection.”

“You’ve got me quite upset now. I do not want to see any death of a Queenslander that is preventable.”

This came after Dr Young’s controversial statements earlier this year, regarding AstraZeneca vaccinations for young Australians.

When discussing vaccination of under 40s, Dr Young said people in that age group should reconsider getting the AstraZeneca vaccination, for fear of the rare side effects this vaccine could cause, and urged people in that age group to wait until they were eligible for another vaccine instead.

Considering his new role, Dr Hajkowicz was asked his stance on young people receiving AstraZeneca, rather than Pfizer or other available vaccinations.

In response, Dr Hajkowicz said that he would following the advice of ATAGI (the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) to the letter, as Dr Young has.

 

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Seemingly following very clearly in Dr Young’s path, one question that is left to be answered is this:

Will Dr Hajkowicz be as firm on the border as Dr Young has been?

 

Will Dr Hajkowicz be as firm on the border as Dr Young has been?

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