Australia

COVID vaccine: Victoria says federal government failed to deliver 40,000 vaccines

Victorian officials say the federal government was unable to provide a batch of COVID-19 vaccine to arrive last week due to growing frustration with the deployment.

Nationally, it has been administered only 670,000 doses so far, well above the 4 million dose target set by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in January by the end of March.

Complicating the deployment is federal authorities recommending Pfizer vaccines instead of AstraZeneca vaccines for people under the age of 50 for fear of blood clots.

Victorian officials said Thursday that the state had achieved all its goals, but the promised delivery of 40,000 doses from the Commonwealth did not arrive last week.

But Martin Foley, the state health minister, said he didn’t want to play the blame game because the country fought a pandemic.

“As we’ve seen recently, there were some bumps along the way, but I think it’s time to have a national conversation about’Is there a better way to do this?'” Said.

“This is not the time for semantics. It is not the time for one level of government to raise issues with another. This is a pandemic in which governments at all levels need to work together.”

media_cameraThe Victoria State Government wants more clarification from the Commonwealth regarding the deployment of vaccines. Photo: Michael M Santiago / Getty Images / AFP

Victoria has already given more than 129,00 doses, but if the delay persists, the state may need to immerse itself in its reserves to vaccinate vulnerable people and frontline workers. not.

About 95% of hotel quarantine workers in Victoria are vaccinated.

Foley said he was in talks daily with federal counterpart Greg Hunt and had a desire to improve the current system.

“We are still waiting for the delivery of those doses. When trying to scale up both sustainable and efficient systems, we have prior knowledge of how many doses will arrive and when they will arrive. It’s very important to have it clearly, “Folly said.

Victoria is expanding the number of sites and outreach models for vaccination and announced on Thursday an ambitious plan to vaccinate 300,000 people by mid-May.

There are two new large centers in Melbourne Showgrounds and Mercure Ballarat, adding five original vaccine hubs.

Community vaccination centers will also be set up in Prahran, Lily Dale, Broadmeadows, Wester Melbourne and Deer Park, and mobile vaccination vans will also be provided.

Martin Foley has criticized the federal treatment of vaccine deployments. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw
media_cameraMartin Foley has criticized the federal treatment of vaccine deployments. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

The state has also offered to vaccinate the current 1a group of health, emergency, critical workers, and non-elderly cohorts to reduce the burden on the federal system.

Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino said achieving the new goal would depend on federal vaccine supply and called on the country’s cabinet to raise the issue on Friday.

“As long as we get the federal supply, we can achieve the goals we set, and we’ve said that all the time,” Merlino said.

“People’s trust is needed for the development of vaccination programs.”

Merlino said he was concerned about “state disparities” and wanted a more consistent approach from federal colleagues.

“We admit that we have supply and distribution challenges, global challenges and we are not participating in the game of blame,” he said.

“We can do more and expand our programs, but that is a federal decision and requires national coherence.

“It’s difficult because it’s the largest medical logistical exercise in the history of our country.”

Professor Ben Kaui. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie
media_cameraProfessor Ben Kaui. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

Ben Kaui, senior adviser to the Victorian vaccination program, said this was important data and increased the transparency of the report.

“We are ready to survive these uplifts on the road,” said Professor Kaui.

“This is what we are currently working on and we are in contact with our colleagues to resolve any issues we may have to support the distribution.”

The state recorded the 41st day with zero active cases as it resumed overseas travel.

rhiannon.tuffield@news.com.au

Initially published as follows Vaccine badge “undelivered” to Vic

Place of originCOVID vaccine: Victoria says federal government failed to deliver 40,000 vaccines

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