Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Leigh Sales grills Professor Brendan Murphy on Australia’s slow vaccine rollout

Australia’s vaccine rollout debacle has been labeled “amateur hour” as the government struggles to keep up distribution. In a fiery interview with Leigh Sales on Tuesday night, Professor Brendan Murphy said he “rejected” the idea Australia was failing in its COVID-19 vaccination program, just hours after Scott Morrison could not disclose how many domestically produced doses are being delivered each week. The federal government has ordered more than 53 million doses of the jab, 50 million to be manufactured onshore. In January, it predicted four million Aussies would be vaccinated by the end of March.

In March, drug manufacturer CSL said it expected to “hit a run rate of well over” a million doses per week by the end of the month. The rollout would be in rounds of 300,000 doses.

Out of the four vaccines Australia has secured, the AstraZeneca vaccine forms the bulk of the Federal Government’s $3.3 billion immunization program.

However, around 830 local doses were delivered in the first week of the program, and it is not clear how many have been released since then.

Just 854,983 Australians have been vaccinated against coronavirus — 280,943 through GP and GP respiratory clinics and the other federal agencies. Those vaccinated through age and disability facilities are 112,830.

When pressed on why only two percent of Australians had been vaccinated when other countries like America have jabbed at least 30 percent, Dr. Murphy said, “the vast majority of GPs are pleased with the rollout”.

Dr Murphy “completely rejected” Sales’ accusation that the Australian public sees the rollout as “anything other than amateur hour”. He said Australia didn’t need to use emergency protocols “unlike other countries” to get access to vaccines earlier.

But he said he was confident Australians would have at least one injection by October. “We are still on track to hit our target of every adult getting their first dose by the end of October.

He said the increased domestic vaccine supply was a “strategy” to help push the process along but wouldn’t predict when at least 75 percent of Australians would be fully vaccinated.

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