'The Hunger Games': Health minister slams vaccine rollout fail

·Assistant News Editor
·2-min read

With limited supply secured by the federal government, Australia's Covid vaccine program has turned into "The Hunger Games" according to one state Health Minister. 

After a week in which Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt were roundly criticised for the "biggest black and white failure of public administration" over the bungled vaccine rollout, state leaders are still showing no signs of pulling their punches. 

For months states have been complaining of unreliable and insufficient supply from the Commonwealth as they try to ramp up the number of jabs administered.  

On Monday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard invoked the popular series of dystopian books and movies to describe the nation's much maligned immunisation program.

NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard says the rollout has devolved into a Hunger Games situation. Source: Getty
NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard says the rollout has devolved into a Hunger Games situation. Source: Getty

"It is almost a sense now of The Hunger Games, of people chasing vaccine," he told reporters in Sydney.

"Until we get enough vaccine and enough GPs actually at the front line able to provide that vaccine into arms, we will continue to have effectively The Hunger Games going on here in NSW."

With the AstraZeneca vaccine not recommended for those under the age of 60, the little amount of the Pfizer vaccine secured by Mr Hunt has left states scrapping over what they can get their hands on.

"In relation to vaccines, it is the most competitive global environment imaginable," federal health minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

According to the federal government's "allocation horizons", NSW can expect 200,000 to 240,000 doses of the Pfizer jab per week in July and August before ramping up in September and furthermore in December when the government projects it will give more than half a million doses to the state each week.

In Queensland, almost 140,000 people have registered to receive a Pfizer jab but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned it could be October or November before shots were administered.

"That is when all the supply comes in from the federal government," she said.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Hazzard's description was apt as he criticised the federal government.

"They are responsible for the supply of vaccines, they are responsible for rollout in aged care, responsible for the Covid-19 safe app," he told reporters in Toowoomba.

"Everything they have had responsibility for has been botched.

Australia is due to receive a total of 40 million Pfizer doses along with 10 million of the yet-to-be approved Moderna vaccine by the end of the year.

While just nine per cent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated, Mr Hunt pointed to an "incredible result" of 880,000 doses in the past week.

with AAP

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