NSW is finally getting its first mass vaccination clinic in order to speed up our abysmal rollout of the coronavirus vaccines.
The new facility is being opened by the state government in the Sydney suburb of Homebush and will be capable of administering up to 30,000 jabs per week. It’s due sometime in the next few months and tbh it can’t come a minute too soon.
The federal government originally hoped to have administered four million jabs by the start of April, although this figure was later revised to two million. And yet, at the time of writing, just over 920,000 doses have been given out. That’s pretty woeful compared to plenty of other countries.
In short, we need to up our game big time and mass vaccination sites like this are probably our best chance at administering that sweet, sweet AstraZeneca to the masses.
“This is to support the GP network and to support the Commonwealth, because given where we are at the vaccine rollout, NSW doesn’t need to see further delays and that’s why we’re stepping up to support the Commonwealth,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday.
On top of that, an additional 30,000 doses will be administered at 100 smaller, government-run vaccination clinics across NSW.
However, all of this is contingent on the vaccines actually being available in the first place. That’s the responsibility of the federal government, not the state governments.
“Our ability to do 60,000 vaccinations a week depends on us getting the supply of the vaccine from the Commonwealth,” Berejiklian added.
“At the end of the day, the Commonwealth is responsible for getting the vaccine to the states.
“What we’re saying to the Commonwealth is once you get those doses available to us, we’re ready to administer them in a safe way.”
The federal government isn’t so hopeful about this state government initiative. Right before the NSW announcement, the federal government said choked-up vaccine supply chains would prevent Australia from establishing any mass vaccination sites in the near future.
“We don’t have the vaccines to do that,” Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy said on Wednesday morning.
There has been a well-publicised stoush between the Australian government and the European Union over imports of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but this should hopefully become less important once local production ramps up in Melbourne.