Australia Scott Morrison refuses to put a timeline on Covid-19 rollout
Scott Morrison praises Australia's 'great spirit' in Easter message
The prime minister sat alongside his wife Jenny and with their dog for his annual Easter message to the nation, released on Good Friday. 'Easter is a very special time where people and families are coming together right across our country and for many they haven't been able to do over the past year, he said. © Provided by Daily Mail Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny with the Easter bunny back in 2019 Mr Morrison said it is also a very special and sacred time for Australia's Christian community, which his family is part of.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to set a date for when every Australian will receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after blood clot fears over the AstraZeneca jab threw the nation's vaccination program into chaos.
The Federal Government initially set an October deadline to inoculate all people in Australia but Mr Morrison said they were no longer in a position to say when the vaccine program will be completed.
'The government has... not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses,' he said.
'While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved.'
Decision about AstraZeneca's use in Australia to be make this week
An urgent investigation was launched into the potential side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine after a Melbourne man who received the jab was hospitalised with a rare blood clotting condition. Experts have been holding talks with European regulators to determine whether the 44-year-old's low blood platelets and 22 other similar cases in the UK are linked to the vaccine. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) will convene on Wednesday to weigh up the risks and benefits of AstraZeneca jabs once further information is provided from international discussions.
Delays to vaccination imports posed a problem, and then the rollout was derailed last week when health authorities recommended AstraZeneca doses should only be given to Australians aged over 50, following concerns about blood clotting.
'We will just get on with the job of working together to produce, distribute and administer the vaccines as safely and efficiently as possible,' Mr Morrison said.
Morrison firm on vaccine rollout strategy
Amid news of a COVID-19 death on Australian soil, the federal government is standing firm on its vaccine rollout which it insists will continue to ramp up.A dual Papuan-British man, 77, died "from complications due to COVID-19" in Brisbane's Redcliffe Hospital on Monday, after being first diagnosed in Papua New Guinea.
More than 1.1 million doses have been administered so far, well below the four million target the government had been aiming to achieve by the end of March.
'You can see that 1.16 million doses have now been administered, with over 465,000 given by our GPs. Another 1,000 GPs are expected to join the rollout this week, taking the total number to over 4,000,' Mr Morrison said.
'At the end of this past week, it's also important to note that more than 142,000 doses have been administered to our aged care residents, in more than 1,000 facilities, with over 46,000 of these now being second does in over 500 facilities.'
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said it was 'beyond belief' that the Morrison government 'seem to have no idea about vaccination timetables'.
'This should have been their main focus given they have handed most responsibility to the states,' he said on Twitter on Sunday night.
Morrison’s 3.1 million vaccine claim is a crock. His own words tell us so
The government is inventing reasons why the vaccine rollout is is such a debacle, but the lies and cover-up can't obscure the truth that it's been bungled.Yesterday, when asked why the government was so badly adrift of its initial forecast that 4 million people would be vaccinated by the end of March, Morrison replied:
Australians are being urged to consult with their doctors regarding any concerns they have over AstraZeneca vaccinations.
'It is critical for Australia's future that public confidence in the vaccine program is maintained,' Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid said.
He is urging Australians to discuss with their GP which vaccine they should have, noting most younger Australians would not be eligible for the vaccine until later this year anyway.
The government has secured a further 20 million Pfizer vaccines, which are due to be delivered in the final quarter of this year.
Even so, Dr Khorshid said the AstraZeneca vaccine remains very safe and effective, and access to the alternative, preferred Pfizer vaccine is likely to be delayed.
'Our advice for Australians with questions is to make an appointment with their GP for a full discussion about the possible risks and benefits of having the vaccine, or of not having it, taking into account their own specific circumstances,' he said.
Young Australians' hopes for an overseas holiday could be dashed
Australia had been aiming to open its international borders beyond New Zealand from the end of October when every citizen was expected to receive at least their first vaccine dose. But that timeline is now almost impossible to meet following Thursday's announcement the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine - which Australia had purchased the most doses of - was no longer recommended for under 50s, only the Pfizer jab.
He also noted reports that there has been some talk about doctors being concerned about potential litigation from side-effects of any vaccines.
'Please be assured that all registered doctors are fully covered - your GP is more concerned with your health,' he said.
Health Minister Greg Hunt also made the point that vaccine indemnity is already in place.
Mr Hunt insists GPs have 'flocked' to participate in the program in the coming week, and have not been put off by the advice on AstraZeneca jab.
There were now 4000 GP clinics across the nation able to administer the vaccine.
Mr Morrison said Australia's vaccine program is faring well on an international scale.
'The latest data shows that Australia's vaccination program is advancing consistent with comparable countries such as Germany, and ahead of Canada, Sweden, France, NZ, South Korea and Japan at the same stage of their rollouts,' he said.
There were no new Covid-19 community transmission cases reported on Sunday.
Covid vaccine rollout bungle sees jabs sent to GPs but no syringes .
GP clinics across Sydney have finally received their long-awaited doses to vaccinate patients - but are being forced to use their own supply of syringes and needles. One doctor claims she was told by the federal health department that it had 'run out' of syringes while another was told they were on backorder.Bondi Junction-based Sapphire Family Medical Practice owner Dr Dasha Fielder says using their own supply of syringes isn't sustainable.