As NSW recorded its third consecutive day of over 200 new cases of Covid-19, Premier Gladys Berejiklian highlighted vaccinations as the "only path out of lockdown."
However, a NSW nurse who was hired by Healthcare Australia to administer vaccinations at an aged care facility says she was fired after she gave spare Pfizer vaccinations to family members.
The nurse says she doesn't think she did the wrong thing, administering them rather than throwing them out.
"The policy that came out in June 2021 clearly says who the excess doses can be given to, and [my daughter and two nephews] fit the eligibility criteria of being regular visitors to an aged care facility," she told radio host Ben Fordham on his 2GB show, Ben Fordham Live.
"And also one of them is a trainee physiotherapist, who in his clinical experience goes into various hospitals and facilities."
She continued explaining there is a time limit on when the vaccine has to be administered once it's been drawn.
"When you take the vaccine out of the cool green cell you then open it and have to dilute it, once diluted it draws out six doses and [those doses] are only good for an hour," she explained, adding if they don't get used they go to waste.
Vaccination is the key to getting out of lockdown
Ms Berejiklian said in a press conference on Monday that the state needs "to get jabs in arms as quickly as possible".
She highlighted the target age groups as people aged between 20 and 40, describing getting the age group vaccinated as "crucial" to reducing restrictions and eventually ending lockdown in NSW.
“Unlike the flu, with COVID it's people in their 20s, 30s and 40s that are most mobile, that are between two generations or within three generations that are causing both getting the virus and spreading the virus. It is really important for us to get people aged between that 20-40 age group vaccinated,” she said.
National cabinet agreed last week that 70 per cent of eligible Australians will need to be vaccinated before moving to the next phase of the path out of lockdown, and once vaccination rates reach 80 per cent lockdowns should be no longer needed.
“When we get to five million jabs or 9.2 million jabs, which is the 70 per cent number, we will be able to have a bit more freedom obviously than what we do today, moving forward. I can't stress that enough," she said.
Healthcare Australia's statement
Healthcare Australia released the following statement to 2GB:
"Healthcare Australia assures the community that it strictly follows all government guidelines and protocols regarding the supply, storage and distribution of vaccines.
“HCA always accords to the Government’s excess dose policy that enables all excess vials to be redistributed the following day in collaboration with the department as well as redeploying excess vials to local hospitals and Pfizer hubs.
“HCA strictly adheres to the excess policy guidelines.
“Any excess vials that have been removed from refrigeration and cannot be stored are used in accordance with published government policy on eligible people.
“In the event that there is still excess that cannot be used on eligible individuals as determined by the Commonwealth, HCA follows the government policy for disposal.
“In relation to the claims made by a former HCA nurse, we do not discuss individual employee matters as they are confidential.
“All workers must comply with Health Department protocols regarding the provision of vaccines to family members and all family members must be eligible under Health Department protocols.”
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