‘A million doses in arms in a week’: Australia crosses key threshold

Matt Woodley

21/07/2021 5:59:00 PM

But the Prime Minister has acknowledged that the country is months behind originally forecast targets.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the delays as ‘regrettable’. (Image: AAP)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told reporters Australia’s vaccine rollout is about two months behind the schedule agreed upon by National Cabinet last year.
‘Those delays are regrettable, we all know they’re the result of many factors,’ he said on Wednesday.
‘I take responsibility for the problems that we have had, but I am also taking responsibility for the solutions we’re putting in place and the vaccination rates that we are now achieving.’
However, the Prime Minister also said that if the current pace of the rollout is maintained, every Australian should receive the opportunity to get vaccinated before the end of 2021.
‘With the most recent seven days’ data, we finally hit that mark of a million doses in arms in a week,’ he said.
‘In the same week, we’ve seen a million doses of Pfizer turn up and we’ve gone from 300,000 doses a week escalating to a million doses coming every week with Pfizer.’
Modelling provided by the Doherty Institute aimed at informing the next phases of Australia’s plan to re-open and attain a post-COVID ‘new normal’ is also expected by the end of the month, which will provide a risk profile in relation to various potential national vaccination levels.
At the time of publication (Wednesday 21 July), only 14.5% of Australians over the age of 16 had been fully vaccinated against the disease, including 33% of those aged 70 or older.
Overall, 10.47 million COVID-19 vaccination doses have been administered across the country, equivalent to 40.7 doses per 100 people, more than half of which have been delivered by primary care.
These figures include 32,000 people aged under 40 who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine since Prime Minister Morrison encouraged young people to reconsider the risk–benefit profile of their situation – a message he reiterated again on Wednesday, despite the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) limiting its recommendation to only those in COVID-19 hotspots.
‘People should be getting vaccinated as soon as possible with the vaccines available for them to get vaccinated. That is my message. And that is what I think is in Australia’s public health interests,’ he said.
‘I would encourage states to be using the AstraZeneca vaccines, to be dispensing them through those state-based clinics to get as many people vaccinated as possible, and I commend the Victorian Government for the way that they’ve led the way on that.
‘We know that in other countries, the AstraZeneca vaccine, particularly the UK, has been the primary vaccine through which they’ve been able to achieve the vaccination levels there.’
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