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Australia NSW needs to receive ‘fair share' of vaccines, says Premier

08:41  07 june  2021
08:41  07 june  2021 Source:   smh.com.au

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has suggested states should receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine based on their population sizes, after the federal government agreed to provide Victoria with an additional 100,000 Pfizer doses.

Ms Berejiklian said the outbreak in Victoria appeared to be under control and NSW should receive its © Getty Ms Berejiklian said the outbreak in Victoria appeared to be under control and NSW should receive its "fair share" of vaccine doses.

Victoria reported an additional nine new local coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the number of active cases in the state to 94.

Speaking on Monday morning, Ms Berejiklian said the outbreak in Victoria appeared to be under control and NSW should receive its "fair share" of vaccine doses.

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"Anything we can do to help we should," she told 2GB radio. "[But] I think fair is fair and we should just receive [doses] based on the size of every state."

Asked about the topic at a press conference later in the day, the Premier said she thought the federal government would expect her to advocate for the best for her state.

"I'm simply saying NSW has been doing the heavy lifting and we will continue to do that," she said, noting her state had experienced large outbreaks over summer and continued to process 3000 returned travellers a week.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 180,000 people have passed through NSW's hotel quarantine system, more than double the number of any other state.

The federal government has promised Victoria an additional 100,000 Pfizer doses from June 14.

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"None of the additional doses that are going to Victoria are coming at the expense of any other state," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the same Sydney press conference.

NSW will be receiving 80,000 doses of Pfizer a week this month, which will increase to 100,000 doses next month, Mr Morrison said, adding that an additional 50,000 vaccine doses had been allocated to the state's GP system.

Federal government data published on Sunday showed 1,498,003 vaccine doses had been administered in NSW, compared with 1,419,616 in Victoria.

Of these, Victoria has administered more doses through its health ministry (613,914 doses compared with NSW's 499,725), while more doses have been administered through GP and Commonwealth respiratory clinics in NSW.

NSW has a population of about 8.16 million, whereas Victoria has a population of about 6.68 million.

The Prime Minister said Australia's vaccine rollout "continues to gather pace" after the nation on the weekend passed 5 million doses administered.

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"It took us over 45 days to get to that first million, it took us 10 days to get to that last million."

In the week ending on Sunday, NSW Health administered a record 80,729 vaccines.

NSW recorded no new local coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, as more than 200 people remain in isolation after coming in contact with a Melbourne family infected last month.

Communities on the South Coast and along the Hume remain on alert after the family holidayed in the area from May 19 to 24, before testing positive last Monday.

NSW Health said 226 close contacts had been identified following the family's trip. None have tested positive to date.

Fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 were recently detected through routine wastewater testing in Sydney's north-west

The fragments were detected in the Castle Hill sewerage network, which takes in about 8400 residents in the suburbs of Castle Hill, Dural, Glenhaven, Kellyville and Kenthurst.

"People who are recently recovered from COVID-19 can continue to shed virus fragments into the sewerage system for several weeks even after they are no longer infectious," the ministry said in a statement, encouraging people in the area to be alert to symptoms.

Five new cases were detected in returned overseas travellers quarantined in the state on Sunday.

The Prime Minister and Premier both said no plans were afoot for a specialist quarantine facility to be established in NSW, after Victoria reached a deal for a 500-bed quarantine hub last week and the Premier's office said they would "welcome" a Commonwealth-operated facility in the state.

"At this point in time, we don't have capacity to do any more than what we are doing," the Premier said.

Liam Mannix's Examine newsletter explains and analyses science with a rigorous focus on the evidence. Sign up to get it each week.

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