Dr Jeannette Young, who will be sworn in as Governor of Queensland on Monday, said it has been an “absolute honour” to serve as the CHO for 16 years.
“The journey has been challenging, rewarding, at times stressful, but always satisfying,” she wrote in a letter published on her final day on Sunday.
“When you’re the CHO of Queensland, you’re not just doing a job; you’re taking responsibility for the health and wellbeing of a state.
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“You have more than 5.5 million patients and you care deeply for each and every one of them.
“COVID-19 has commanded my attention day and night for almost two years now and I am certainly proud of the way we have weathered this crisis.”
But Dr Young said many of her “proudest achievements” pre-date the coronavirus pandemic.
This includes increasing the child vaccination rate, halving the rate of adult smokers in Queensland, establishing a world-class aeromedical retrieval service and developing a new medical school in Central Queensland.
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In her final request as CHO, Dr Young asked unvaccinated Queenslanders to roll up their sleeves for two COVID-19 jabs.
“These two shots are as close as we’ll get to a silver bullet to this virus,” she said.
“Most, if not all, of us will get infected at some point.
“So I urge you – one last time as Chief Health Officer – to get vaccinated if you have not already done so.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk issued a thank you to the departing CHO.
“After 16 years dedicated to the wellbeing of every Queenslander, Dr Young’s time as our Chief Health Officer draws to a close today,” she wrote on Twitter.
Dr Jeannette Young, the departing CHO, is seen during a COVID-19 update. Picture: Tara Croser.
“Dr Young will be remembered for leading us through the COVID-19 pandemic and improving the health of Queenslanders.”
Dr Young was to be replaced by infectious disease expert Krispin Hajkowicz as she moved into the position of Governor of Queensland.
But just last week it was announced Dr Hajkowicz had withdrawn due to “personal reasons”.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said in a statement she respected the decision and his request for privacy.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Peter Aitken will be taking up the role until a suitable replacement is appointed.

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