Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she is ready to ramp up NSW’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine but hasn’t been told how many doses the state will be getting.
Key points:NSW’s target of vaccinating 35,000 people in three weeks is on track, the Premier saidHowever, Ms Berejiklian said she only has a rough idea how many doses her state will receive after thenVaccine logistics involving refrigeration required preparation from workers, she said
Ms Berejiklian said 10,339 residents have received the jab since the Pfizer vaccine touched down in Sydney last Sunday.
She said NSW was “well on track” to reach its target of 35,000 vaccines administered in the first three weeks, involving frontline workers and hotel quarantine staff.
But she said she wanted to know “as soon as possible” from the Federal government how many doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines her state would be receiving.
“Our teams are ready and willing to step up and increase our capacity, but we just need to know how many doses we’re getting beyond week four,” she said.
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“Timely information on how many doses we are receiving would really assist us in being able to get the vaccine to as many of our citizens as soon as possible.
“We’d like some certainty. We have been give an rough idea.”
Ms Berejiklian said “hundreds of thousands” of workers involved in the “complicated logistics” of delivering the vaccine needed more information to prepare.
“We know what we are getting for the next two to three weeks, and beyond that point we’d like as much information as possible to help us prepare and scale up.
“These are logistical exercises in terms of the safe storage, safe distribution, refrigeration, staff being on hand, us being able to invite people to get the vaccine, so as I’ve always said, we are keen to bring timetables forward, if we know we are getting doses above what we anticipated we are keen to bring the timetable forward.”
It comes as NSW recorded its 43rd day without a local case of COVID-19, health authorities confirmed.
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NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard described the vaccine rollout to date as a “wartime effort” but echoed the Premier’s concern about a lack of communication from the Federal government.
“We do need the Federal government to work with us and to share all necessary information.
“We would like detailed information about where they are intending to roll out particularly the AstraZeneca at this point but also the Pfizer into the aged care facilities so we can work with them to understand how we might be able to complement what they’re doing.”
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Ms Berejiklian pointed to the fact that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines required slightly different storage and timeframe preparation.
“The AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t require the refrigeration rates that Pfizer does,” she said.
“It has a three month or 12 week period between the two doses whereas the Pfizer has three.
“Logistically they are different and the states need to be able to plan and gear up.”
The Premier reiterated that her state was prepared with the resources and staffing to bring the rollout forward ahead of schedule, with the completion of the program originally touted as October.
“We have the capacity to provide more vaccinations to citizens than what we’d anticipated, we need to know how many doses [we have] so we can make that happen,” she said.
“As soon as we get the information we are translating that into jabs, which is great news.”
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