Floods cause significant delays in delivering COVID-19 vaccines in NSW, while the government fends off criticism of a slow roll-out at national level.
The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination in Australia’s most populous state is being delayed by heavy rains and floods blocking access to roads.
» Vaccine delivery is affected in Sydney and in several regional locations in New South Wales, « said the Federal Health Department on Saturday.
More than 250,000 viral stings were administered in Australia, far from the four million Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced to be completed by the end of March.
The introduction of phase 1b – for people over 70, indigenous Australians over 55, people with a disease Age or Disability and High Risk Workers – should start on Monday. However, its launch into NSW, the country’s most populous state, is planned to be disrupted by heavy rain and flooding blocking roads.
Sydney’s Hawkesbury Nepean Valley, which includes Penrith, will handle the worst flood in 60 years .
« It is clear that due to these floods, disruption is to be expected in many freight and logistics movements across NSW. Vaccines will not be exempt, » Treasury Secretary Simon Birmingham told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.
« So we’re working with our freight and distribution companies getting the vaccine from point A to point B to understand what will be affected. »
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian says that she has not yet been informed of delays, but assumes that there will be distribution problems due to the road closures.
« I’m not worried, we will do that afterwards « She told reporters in Sydney while briefing on the flood situation.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said the dealers would do everything possible to ensure deliveries on time.
» Over 1,000 have already been planned Deliveries have been made and the remaining deliveries are ready to use once the roads are safe and practices can reopen and receive the deliveries, « Professor Kidd told reporters in Canberra. There have only been four COVID-19 acquired overseas cases registered in Australia on Sunday, two in NSW and two in Queensland.
According to Prof. Kidd, this contrasts with the global situation in which the cases are lagging behind as before are very high, with more than half a million people reported and nearly 8,500 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.
Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy is optimistic about the outlook for as long as most of the Australian population is is vaccinated.
« I think life will get back to normal, but I think we just have to be patient, » Professor Murphy told Sky News.
While the vaccines are safe, there are still a number of things that are not known about them, e.g. B. How long the protection lasts, how good they are against different COVID-19 strains and whether people need booster vaccinations each year, like a normal flu shot.
However, he believes that the introduction of vaccines will result in a reduction of all restrictions and will ensure that state borders are no longer required to be closed. « As more Australians get vaccinated and more countries around the world are vaccinated, so will we. » Gradually start examining which border and quarantine measures we need to take, « said the former chief doctor.
» For example, we could think about shortening the quarantine length, more quarantine at home … our risk tolerance becomes change in the second half of this year. «
People in Australia need to be at least 1.5 meters away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on collecting limits.
If you have symptoms of a cold or flu occur, stay at home and schedule a test by calling your doctor or contacting the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
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