Scott Morrison calls in the ARMY to help assist with Australia’s behind-schedule coronavirus vaccine rollout
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called in the Australian Defence Force to help get the nation’s coronavirus vaccine rollout back on schedule.
Military personnel have been enlisted to help vaccinate elderly Australians in aged care facilities in mainly regional areas, Seven News understands.
The call for help comes after the federal government fell behind schedule during the first few days of the nation’s biggest ever vaccination rollout.
The program fell short of of its target for 60,000 Australians expected to get the jab in the first week.
The Prime Minister has enlisted the Australian Defence Force to assist with the nation’s coronavirus vaccination rollout. Pictured is Gold Coast nurse Zoe Park getting the jab
As of Monday night, only 42,000 Australians have had their first dose, including more than 13,000 aged care residents.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt assured the progressive rollout will ramp up.
‘It’s been done that way for reasons of safety and security,’ the minister told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.
‘We will continue to roll it out and these arrivals of vaccines are very good and the continued expansion of the program is good.’
He added more than 300,000 doses will be distributed across the nation in the coming days.
‘Over the current 10-day period, we will make almost 300,000 doses available to the states and that will be the two distributions of Pfizer and one of AstraZeneca,’ Mr Hunt said.
Australian Defence Force personnel will continue to assist the federal government during the pandemic. Pictured are Australian Defence Force waiting for returned travellers to arrive at Sydney Airport
Aged care resident Jane Malysiak (right) was the first Australian to receive the Pfizer vaccine on February 21 as Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) watches on
Federal Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck says the target of vaccinating all aged care residents within six weeks of the rollout’s start date remains on track.
All Australians are expected to be vaccinated by October, which is seven months away.
Only the Pfizer vaccine has been administered so far, with AstraZeneca does expected to become available within 10 days.
Pharmaceutical giant CSL is manufacturing 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine at its facility in Victoria, where one million doses are ready now.
‘We’re close to making one million doses a week,’ Mr Larkins told a parliamentary inquiry.
Almost 42,000 Australians have received their first dose so far, well short of the 60,000 target. Pictured is aged care resident John Healywho was among the first to be vaccinated
What will next happen in each state
The Pfizer jab will be administered to 35,000 frontline workers in NSW over the next three weeks including those employed at quarantine hotels, people screening airport arrivals, health staff, cleaners, police and security.
All quarantine hotel workers in NSW – about 6500 people per week – will be included in the initial rollout of the jab.
Victoria’s first 12,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived on Sunday at Monash Hospital in Clayton.
The roll-out begins on Monday morning, with high-risk frontline health staff first in the queue.
Other recipients in line to receive the jab include hotel quarantine, airport and port workers, as well as aged care staff and residents.
The federal government is expected to allocate 59,000 Pfizer vaccine doses to Victoria over the first four weeks of the program.
The southern state will receive weekly deliveries of vaccines, with plans to inoculate 12,000 people in the first three weeks.
More than 1000 hotel and health workers will be jabbed this week
More than 290 hotel quarantine staff and medical professionals are expected to receive the Pfizer BioNTech jab.
3392 invitations sent to workers who qualify for Phase 1a
WA’s 2500 hotel quarantine workers, 2500 Perth Airport staff and 170 Fremantle Port employees have been prioritised to get the jab first, with at least 556 currently booked in to get it next week.