More Pfizer doses to combat NSW outbreak

(Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Almost 185,000 Pfizer vaccine doses will be sent to NSW while Queensland could also receive a boost as both states battle coronavirus outbreaks.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced the fast-tracked NSW package would increase the state’s August allocation.

The vast majority of the 183,690 doses will be sent to the epicentre of Sydney’s outbreak in the southwestern suburbs.

Regions that redirected Pfizer doses to the city will also receive a boost from the increase, which doesn’t reduce other states’ allocations.

Vaccine rollout commander John Frewen said Sydney’s outbreak triggered the decision to bring forward doses from supplies that arrived late last month.

“New South Wales we’re working with, because of the situation,” he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

“We’re also talking to Queensland as well because of the outbreak there.”

Lieutenant General Frewen said roaming vaccine clinics were visiting nursing homes in Queensland to ensure vulnerable people had maximum protection.

Mr Morrison said the boosted NSW supply was a shot in the arm for the state’s vaccine rollout.

“I will always work closely with our premiers to make sure Australians are protected in their time of need. That need is now,” he said.

“Every vaccination can save a life.”

NSW recorded 233 new local cases on Wednesday and two deaths taking the national toll to 927.

Queensland’s biggest outbreak since last year’s initial wave is expected to grow after 16 more local cases brought a cluster to 63.

Australia has now vaccinated 20 per cent of its population aged 16 and over but continues to lag behind most of the world.

A record 213,947 doses were administered in the past 24 hours.

Labor wants to hand $300 one-off payments to fully vaccinated people but the prime minister has rejected the plan.

Lt Gen Frewen said all alternatives would be considered if incentives were needed to get people vaccinated later in the rollout.

“There’s cash, there’s the ideas of lotteries, all these things have been discussed,” the rollout commander said. 

“But what is resonating with people right now really is being able to get back to the sort of lifestyle we used to enjoy.”

He cited international travel, ending quarantine and avoiding lockdowns as strong incentives, along with people knowing vaccination was the right thing to do.


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