Australia

Hundreds of GPs start rolling out Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for Australians aged 40-59

Some 500 GPs across Australia will start rolling out the Pfizer jab to people aged between 40 and 59 this week.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd says a further 800 GPs will come on board during July and August, including many Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.

He said over 8.2 million doses have now been administered in Australia, including five million does of AstraZeneca.

“These vaccines protect you and your family and the wider population against the risk of serious illness and death,” Professor Kidd reminded reporters on Sunday.

More than 70 per cent of people aged over 70 years, more than 60 per cent of those aged over 60 years, and more than 50 per cent of people aged over 50 years have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“In addition, nearly 30 per cent of those aged over 16 years have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” Prof Kidd said.

However, there is still no exact timetable for when under-40s can get the recommended Pfizer vaccination.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said there will be a marked step up in availability of the Pfizer vaccine in the next few months, rising from around 300,000 doses a week now to about 600,000 doses a week, and further increases are forecast in September.

“There’s not a fixed date that I can give you now,” Senator Birmingham told ABC’s Insiders program.

Victoria is already complaining that its Pfizer allocation is dwindling as NSW gets more to battle its unfolding virus outbreak.

NSW reported 16 locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, including three aged-care residents.

It follows the 35 cases reported the day before, taking total infections in the state since the start of the outbreak to 277.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the dip in case numbers was a good sign, but reiterated all people in Greater Sydney and surrounds must adhere to lockdown provisions, which will remain in place until at least Friday.

Queensland recorded a single local COVID-19 case overnight as residents in Brisbane and Moreton Bay ready for their first full day without a lockdown.

The state also recorded an additional case in hotel quarantine and acquired overseas.

Western Australia reported one new local case amid the first phase of interim post-lockdown restrictions in the Perth and Peel regions.

The man has been in quarantine since 26 June and doesn’t represent any public health risk, WA Health Minister Roger Cook said.

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