Woolworths and Bunnings may be turned into vaccination hubs

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Several major businesses including Woolworths have offered to host Covid-19 vaccine hubs as the nation looks to accelerate its plagued vaccine rollout.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed on Wednesday some of the nation's largest companies had thrown their support behind Australia's rollout and were willing to assist where possible.

Among those in discussions was Wesfarmers, which owns Coles, Officeworks and Bunnings, Commonwealth banks, Telstra, Virgin and Qantas.

"There were many offers of premises for vaccinations being rolled out," Mr Frydenberg said.

Josh Frydenberg revealed several major businesses are onboard. Source: AAP
Josh Frydenberg revealed several major businesses are onboard. Source: AAP

Businesses also had ideas about possible incentives they could offer as part of the scheme, such as airline flyer points.

"I think it's more than a snag at Bunnings that we are talking about," Mr Frydenberg said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been reluctant to discuss incentives when supply of the Pfizer jab remains low. 

Lieutenant General John Frewen, who heads the Federal Government's Covid vaccination task force, said on Tuesday incentives would be key when targeting those hesitant about the vaccine.

"I think perhaps later in the campaign when we're starting to get to those people who are less convinced or a bit more hesitant, that may be a better time for incentives," he told reporters.

Bunnings and Woolworths could provide locations for vaccine hubs in the future. Source: Getty
Bunnings and Woolworths could provide locations for vaccine hubs in the future. Source: Getty

Last week the Business Council of Australia said its members, roughly 1.5 million workers across banks, supermarkets and other large employers, could have the vaccine rolled out to them in a way they do the flu jab.

The council's chief executive Jennifer Westacott told Sky News businesses can play a "massive role" in the rollout.

Woolworths Group head of Covid response Ross Spencer said the business would welcome the opportunity to help.

Ms Berejiklian agrees large corporates or large workplaces have the ability to bring people on their premises to vaccinate their workforces in a timely way.

"The challenge now is we don't have enough supply, but once we do have enough supply, we need to make sure there are enough points of access, and that's what we don't have at the moment," she told reporters last week.

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers agreed business was "critical" in assisting the rollout and said it was unfair they were now suffering during lockdowns as a result of the government's failure to acquire enough vaccines.

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