Vaccine rollout boss confident over supply

·3-min read

The man in charge of Australia's vaccine rollout is confident supply woes have been conquered after more Pfizer doses landed.

Lieutenant General John Frewen has turned his focus to stamping out lingering pockets of wariness in the community.

"I've got one eye firmly fixed on hesitancy issues," he told the Nine Network on Monday.

"We've got the supply. We've got the distribution networks now."

There are about 9400 places to get vaccinated across Australia with hopes the figure will rise to more than 10,000 in coming weeks.

"Really it all just does come down now to people turning up," Lt Gen Frewen said.

Almost 500,000 Pfizer doses secured under a vaccine swap deal with the UK touched down in Sydney on Sunday night.

Another 3.5 million from the agreement are due to arrive this month, while one million doses of Moderna are also expected to land in about a week.

British High Commissioner to Australia Vicky Treadell said Australia would return the same amount of Pfizer doses later in the year.

"That will give us the stock we need for our ongoing program including booster shots," she told Sky News.

Supply issues have been one of the major handbrakes on Australia's sluggish vaccine rollout which remains well behind other developed nations.

But momentum has built amid outbreaks in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Australia has fully vaccinated 38.43 per cent of its population aged 16 and above while 63.16 per cent have received a first dose.

NSW is expecting a peak in cases next week after another 1281 infections were reported on Monday.

The state government has confirmed it has a surge capacity of 1550 intensive care beds with 177 coronavirus patients now receiving that level of care.

The federal government is setting up 10 mental health clinics across Sydney and the Central Coast.

Victoria recorded 246 new local cases, while the ACT had 11.

Vaccine coverage targets of 70 and 80 per cent remain the subject of fierce debate between federal, state and territory governments.

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan wants to see rates between 80 and 90 per cent before setting a date to reopen his state's borders.

He expects that to happen some time next year.

"We will get back to international travel and we will get back to travelling to the eastern states if we can get through this entire period, hopefully unscathed," he told Nine.

In Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is reluctant to automatically reopen her state's borders once the vaccination rate reaches 80 per cent.

Tasmanian Liberal Premier Peter Gutwein wants to achieve 90 per cent coverage, but has said he'll follow the national reopening plan.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked Labor premiers in WA and Queensland while staying silent on Mr Gutwein.

"If it wasn't for the prime minister's failures to deliver enough vaccines, and to deliver purpose-built quarantine, we wouldn't be in this lockdown right now," Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney.

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