Vaccine rollout coordinator confident with new Pfizer supply
Australia’s vaccine rollout coordinator Lieutenant General John Frewen is confident that vaccine supply issues have been addressed with the arrival of the first shipment of Pfizer from the UK on Sunday night.
After receiving the Pfizer doses, Lt Gen Frewen has turned his focus to stamping out lingering pockets of wariness in Australia’s population.
“I’ve got one eye firmly fixed on hesitancy issues,” he told the Nine Network on Monday.
“We’ve got the supply. We’ve got the distribution networks now.”
There are currently over 9400 vaccination sites across Australia. It is expected that the number of sites will rise to more than 10,000 in the coming weeks.
“Really it all just does come down now to people turning up,” Australia’s vaccine rollout coordinator said.
Almost 500,000 Pfizer doses were secured under a vaccine swap deal with the UK. Aside from this, another 3.5 million doses from the agreement are due to arrive this month with one million doses of Moderna is expected to arrive in a week.
Vaccine supply issues have been one of the major causes of Australia’s sluggish vaccine rollout. However, the recent outbreaks within the country have led to a rise in vaccinations.
Australia has fully vaccinated 37.8 per cent of its population aged 16 and above so far. Meanwhile, 62.1 per cent of the country’s population has received their first dose.
Vaccine coverage targets of 70 and 80 per cent remain the subject of fierce debate between federal, state and territory governments.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan wants to see an 80-to-90 per cent vaccine coverage before setting a date to reopen his state’s borders, which he expects to happen sometime next year.
“We will get back to international travel and we will get back to travelling to the eastern states if we can get through this entire period, hopefully unscathed,” Premier McGowan said.
While Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is reluctant to reopen her state’s borders once the vaccination rate reaches 80 per cent, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has said he’ll follow the national reopening plan.
WITH NEWS FROM AAP