The government says its COVID-19 vaccine rollout is “progressing” and that rates of Australians receiving the jab are set to increase this week despite fierce criticism over its failure to meet its own targets.
On Monday, Acting Federal Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd said the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program is moving forward and he was “very proud” of all those involved.
He said further general practices will commence their vaccination programs over this coming week and “daily and weekly numbers will continue to rise”.
It comes after GP clinics complained last week of signing up to the Federal government’s vaccine program and being sent as little as 50 doses of the vaccine a week.
At the end of March, the Federal government missed its own target of vaccinating four million Australians by more than three million shots.
Just two per cent of Australians have received a jab so far, compared to 31 per cent of the US population and 46 per cent of people in the UK, news.com.au reported today.
In the US, more than 104 million people are now fully vaccinated, and another 59 million have reiceved their first dose. In Australia, just over 750,000 people have received a coronavirus vaccine.
Prof Kidd said Australians can be assured the number of people vaccinated with “continue to rise”.
He said last week some 1500 GP clinics were involved in giving shots — a number which will go up to 4000 by the end of April. Pharmacists will be included ion the rollout in the middle of the year.
“As planned, the GP vaccine rollout is expanding again this week after four consecutive record days last week,” he said.
Professor Kidd also provided some daily vaccination numbers for the previous week.
Australian daily COVID-19 vaccine rates:
•Monday: Over 55,000
•Tuesday: Over 72,000
•Wednesday: Over 73,000
•Thursday: Over 79,000
“In the past two weeks, working with our other vaccination delivery sites and teams, our nation’s GPs have helped to triple the number of doses of vaccine delivered in two weeks from 250,000 a week to over 840,000 in the last week.
“And the daily and weekly numbers will continue to rise.”
AMA president says rollout progressing ‘reasonably well’
Dr Antonio Di Dio, the President of the ACT branch of the AMA, said he believed the rollout was “incredibly important and is progressing at this stage reasonably well, as one would have expected.
“Certainly on a per capita basis, it’s progressing as well as any other country, the vast majority of other countries in the world,” Dr Di Dio said.
“But we do need to work together and collaborate to make this rollout work.
“We are blessed in this country with the very, very small number of active cases, a very small number of deaths, and particularly in the number of days that we’ve had in 2021 already where there have been no cases at all. This is by no means an accident.”
The AMA urged all Australians to get vaccinated aganst COVID-19.
“We are very, very optimistic about the effectiveness of the vaccine and we encourage very strongly all Australians who are eligible, to check that eligibility, either through the website or through the 1800 number or through your own general practitioner and get vaccinated,” Dr Dio said.
“It is an incredibly important step. And at this early stage, the evidence so far is that the vaccine is the right thing to do.”