Australia to get one million Pfizer a week

·3-min read

Australia will soon have access to one million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine each week when rollout-boosting supplies are brought forward.

From July 19, arrivals of Pfizer doses will increase to about one million a week with 4.5 million expected in August.

In the past two months between 300,000 and 350,000 doses were arriving each week.

Pfizer said the total number of doses the company was contracted to send to Australia had not changed from 40 million.

"We continue to work closely with the government to support the ramp up of their rollout program," a spokeswoman told AAP.

The vaccine shipments are being fast-tracked by several months but the total order will not increase.

The government had projected receiving between 650,000 and 750,000 Pfizer doses each week in July and August.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one million weekly Pfizer doses would allow the rollout to be completed in coming months.

"That's what you need to hit in order to get the job done," he told reporters in Sydney.

Pfizer supplies and changing advice on the AstraZeneca jab have hampered the rollout, sparking criticism of the government's vaccine portfolio.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Morrison made the Pfizer announcement after coming under pressure following six days without a public statement.

"We're not seeing huge increases at all in spite of the government spin," he told reporters in Queensland.

Another 1300 GPs will join the rollout to deliver Pfizer doses, with the prime minister confident it can be completed by Christmas.

Almost 10.6 per cent of people over 16 have been fully vaccinated with two doses, putting Australia well behind most of the developed world.

A new advertising campaign promoting immunisation will launch on Sunday to coincide with increased supplies.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the virus could not be allowed to circulate in the community after announcing an outbreak-high 44 new local cases on Friday.

"If we chose to live with this while the rates of vaccinations are at nine per cent, we will see thousands and thousands of hospitalisations and death," she said.

Friday's national cabinet meeting of federal and state leaders did not make vaccination mandatory for disability care workers after advice from medical experts.

South Australia will trial 14-day home quarantine for returning overseas travellers with a view to it being more widely used in the future.

National cabinet also took a stocktake of Australia's health system which found there are 2020 spare ventilators and 7000 intensive care beds.

Australians under lockdown in NSW have been urged to get their second AstraZeneca dose within eight weeks of their first jab.

A 12-week gap between AstraZeneca doses provides the most protection against coronavirus.

But people can safely receive their second jab within four weeks of their first.

Mr Morrison said people living in outbreak areas were better off being vaccinated at eight weeks but told people to consult with their doctor.

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