Leigh Sales slams slow vaccine roll out: “Amateur hour”
Australia’s vaccine rollout has been slow and on Tuesday, Leigh Sales grilled Professor Brendan Murphy while the government struggles to keep up with distribution.
Mr Murphy said he “rejected” the idea Australia was failing in its COVID-19 vaccination program.
His comments followed just hours after Scott Morrison failed to disclose how many vaccines doses were produced and being delivered each week.
The federal government has ordered more than 53 million doses of the jab.
50 million of the vaccines are currently being manufactured onshore.
It was predicted that four million Aussies would be vaccinated by the end of 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.
However around 830 local doses were delivered in the first week of the program.
Since then, it has not been made clear how many have been released.
Just 854,983 Australians have been vaccinated against coronavirus — 280,943 through GP and GP respiratory clinics and the other federal agencies.
People vaccinated through age and disability facilities sits 112,830.
Dr Murphy said “the vast majority of GPs are incredibly happy with the rollout,” when grilled on why only two per cent of Australians have been vaccinated.
He went on to “completely” reject Sales’ accusation that the nation 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.
“We are still on track to hit our target of every adult getting their first dose by the end of October,” he said.
Dr Murphy said that the increased domestic vaccine supply was a “strategy” to help push the process along, but failed to predict when at least 75 per cent of the nation would be vaccinated.
“Like other countries we have been constrained by international supply, which is why the wonderful starting up of the local production of CSL is what is now accelerating our program,” he said.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Prime Minister said there was “no holdup” on Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout.
He went on to say Australia was doing better than other countries including Germany, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan, during this stage of the rollout.
The Prime Minister did not reveal how many domestically produced COVID-19 doses are being produced and delivered every week.
“Well, it varies from week to week,” he said.
“We are still in the early phases so it would be misleading, I think, to give you an average at this point.
“We know what we are hoping to achieve. But at this point, we are hoping to achieve the figures that have already been realised to some extent and that is around the 800,000 mark.
“That is achievable and we want to be able to try and keep achieving that, and if we can do better than that, then we will.”
Dr Murphy told ABC’s 7.30 that production had “quadrupled” over the last few weeks and “is ramping up significantly at the moment”.
“We have not been in a position where we’ve had to do things in a hurry,” he said.
Mr Morrison went on to say on Tuesday that experts were taking their time to make sure the domestically produced vaccine support were safe.
“There is no holdup. The release of vaccines has always been based on them completing those processes, so the fact that they actually have to get approved by the relevant authorities and do the batch testing is not a holdup,” he said.
“It is a necessary part of the process to guarantee Australian safety, so to describe it as a holdup would be incorrect.”
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