Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he takes responsibility for the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the country is now following the immunization schedule well.
- One million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the past seven days
- Government expects advice on vaccination target to reopen country within two weeks
- PM says he is in constant conversation with the Vaccine Advisory Group over his advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine
One million Australians have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the past seven days, putting the country on track to deliver vaccines to all Australians by the end of the year, said Mr. Morrison.
“I take responsibility for the problems we encountered, but I also take responsibility for the solutions we put in place and the vaccination rates we are currently achieving,” he said.
Speaking in quarantine from the Prime Minister’s residence, The Lodge, Mr Morrison acknowledged the problems with the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said the program was about two months behind schedule at the start of the year.
“What matters is how you fix things that need to be fixed… today, with the most recent data over seven days, we finally hit the one million weapon doses mark in one week. . “
Mr Morrison said that if the weekly rate of one million doses can continue, all Australians will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of the year.
A total of 10.5 million people have been vaccinated and 14% of people over 16 are fully vaccinated.
He also noted that the government expected to receive advice within two weeks on a vaccination target that would allow the country to reopen.
“Constant calls” to ATAGI to reconsider advice on vaccines
The prime minister said he had been in repeated contact with the government’s vaccine advisory group to discuss his decision to prioritize the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people over 60 years of age.
“It’s a constant calling, it’s a constant calling, I can assure you that,” he said.
“They said they made that decision on the balance of risk, well now it’s up to them to constantly reconsider that risk.”
The Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI) said that due to a rare risk of young people developing blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine, people under the age of 50 should wait for a Pfizer vaccine instead.
He revised that age to 60 last month.
ATAGI has previously said that if the balance of risk changes due to outbreaks, it will reconsider this advice.
At a meeting last week, the group decided to keep this advice unchanged, but said people in areas of Sydney affected by COVID who had already received a dose of AstraZeneca should consider advancing their second dose. within 12 weeks.
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