Busy weekend for nation's vaccine experts

·3-min read

While Australia has recorded a welcome day of no new community cases, the nation's top vaccine experts face a busy Easter weekend.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is investigating whether a Victorian man's rare blood clotting condition is linked to his recent AstraZeneca vaccination.

Meetings of the central medical advisory body the AHPPC, as well as the TGA and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation were held on Friday in relation to the Melbourne man's case, and will continue throughout the weekend.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd confirmed the man's "extremely rare" disorder for which he is receiving treatment in a Melbourne hospital, while emphasising no causal link with the vaccine had been established.

He acknowledged the severe condition would worry people but added the risk of COVID-19 on the largely unvaccinated population was still "far greater" than a rare disorder.

"We are taking this very seriously," Professor Kidd said.

Concerns continue to surface over the rollout of vaccines, with Queensland almost out of the Pfizer inoculation and unsure when it will receive its next delivery.

The federal government has copped flack over its handling of the vaccine rollout, with the slow pace blamed in part for Greater Brisbane's three-day lockdown.

Prof Kidd praised the vaccine rollout on Friday, saying that as of midday Thursday, 750,000 doses had been administered and the rate of vaccination had tripled in the past two weeks.

He removed the "hotspot" classification over Greater Brisbane as of 11.59pm on Thursday - though some jurisdictions are still restricting travel there.

Queensland and NSW celebrated "doughnut" days on Friday, with no new community cases of COVID-19.

Eight new cases have been identified in Queensland - seven in hotel quarantine and one historical case, which is believed to be the missing link to one of two clusters in Greater Brisbane.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, keen to prevent another outbreak, is concerned about the number of positive cases coming into her state and wants international arrivals halved.

She has made the request to Prime Minister Scott Morrison but is yet to get a response, and will raise the matter at the next national cabinet meeting on April 9.

"Maybe until the vaccination program is ramped up by the federal government, the number of returned travellers needs to decrease Australia-wide," she said on Friday.

Ms Palaszczuk called for better coordination of the vaccine schedule.

"We should have a rolling list of ... when the deliveries are coming and how much. That would just help everyone," she said.

Some restrictions remain for Queensland during the next fortnight, including wearing a mask indoors in public, a 30-person limit on private gatherings and severely restricted visits to hospitals, aged care and disability facilities and prisons.

Victoria has designated Greater Brisbane an "orange" zone and is strongly discouraging non-essential travel there, while Tasmania will reassess its restrictions over the weekend.

The ACT and Northern Territory governments have relaxed their restrictions on travellers from Queensland.

Western Australia has closed its border to all of Queensland until the eastern state goes 28 days without new local transmission cases.

NSW recorded its second consecutive virus-free day after a case linked to the Queensland outbreak was diagnosed in Byron Bay earlier in the week.