Morrison: 'Another V Day for Australia

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has deemed today "another V Day for Australia - vaccination day", as COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll out across the country.

Health Secretary Professor Brendan Murphy said despite being a "once-in-a-generation logistical challenge," the vaccine rollout is "going well".

"We started carefully and progressively across Australia, as we can do because we are in such a good place… We don't have a burning platform. We have time to do this properly and carefully," Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy also said the government is "ramping up" rollout efforts after its first two weeks, promising to "get this community vaccinated as soon as we can."

"The really, really exciting thing is that in the week beginning 22 March we will start to release the onshore supply of AstraZeneca vaccine. A million doses-plus a week, which gives us the capacity to really ramp up and broadly vaccinate our population as quickly as possible," Mr Murphy said.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provided an update for the nation following Friday’s National Cabinet meeting. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Peter Lorimer
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provided an update for the nation following Friday’s National Cabinet meeting. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Peter Lorimer

Scott Morrison is about to update the nation on COVID-19 as the first AstraZeneca jabs got underway.

It comes as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has drawn a line in the sand in the fight against COVID-19, calling for an end to the daily updates on the number of locally acquired cases.

Ms Berejiklian's bold stance comes before the premiers meet with Scott Morrison at national Cabinet and as the Pfizer vaccine rollout approaches its third week.

Health officials in NSW are preparing to begin administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in NSW from March 10.

South Australia is the first state where AstraZeneca jabs began on Friday.

NSW also recorded its 46th consecutive day with no locally acquired cases of the virus on Thursday.

It is now that the nation needs to change its attitude towards the virus, according to Ms Berejiklian.

A pharmacist demonstrates the filling of syringes ahead of the COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
A pharmacist demonstrates the filling of syringes ahead of the COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

"I'm confident the vast majority of the population will get vaccinated," Ms Berejiklian told 2GB on Friday.

"The vast majority of us won't go into hospital and to me a measure of success of living with COVID-19 is preventing serious illness and preventing death.

"What is a good measure of success is keeping people alive and keeping them out of hospital and that should be what we're measuring."

Ms Berejiklian was steadfast in declaring that trying to achieve long stretches without locally acquired cases of COVID-19 was redundant.

"Zero community transmissions are easy to achieve when we've got no international travel," she said.

"We need to change our measure or we will be left behind as a nation if we don't think about travelling internationally."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: NCA NewsWire / James Gourley
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: NCA NewsWire / James Gourley

Ms Berejiklian said once the vaccine rollout was completed around October, the approach to COVID-19 should be similar to how medical experts deal with the flu.

"We know that we have hundreds of deaths every year from the flu," she said.

"We don't measure the amount of people who get the flu, but we do measure the number of people who get very sick and unfortunately die.

"Without sounding in any way unsympathetic or not valuing human life, that's the opposite of what I'm trying to do, I think we need to think about ow do we measure our success in dealing with COVID."

ASTRAZENECA BOSS SAYS VACCINE 100% EFFECTIVE

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot has backed his company's ­vaccine as 100 per cent effective against severe COVID-19 disease as the first doses are rolled out in Australia on Friday to health staff in South Australia, with Western Australia and other states to follow next week.

Mr Soriot said the vaccine is as effective as Pfizer's, based on current field data, and called on authorities to suppress fake news and conspiracy theories from anti-vaxxers.

"I don't mean just the political leadership, I'm talking about the scientific leadership, the TGA in this country, the chief medical officers, the people in charge of vaccination guidelines and recommendations; those people need to speak up and educate and reassure, because people listen to scientists," he told The Australian.

 

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca, says Australia’s vaccine rollout is on schedule and his jab is 100 per cent effective. Picture: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca, says Australia’s vaccine rollout is on schedule and his jab is 100 per cent effective. Picture: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg


"The goal here is to protect as many people as possible to save lives, but also to start the economy. We cannot do this if people do not get vaccinated."

Mr Soriot is a French-Australian dual-national, based in Sydney. He admonished high profile skeptics who are setting back progress with their opinions.

"The people who are public figures, who are known, they should remember their word counts and they should really think about what they say" Mr Soriot said.

Australian businessman Clive Palmer's claim that the ­AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines had been rushed through emergency approval by the government was disputed by Mr Soriot. "That was not correct. It is a full approval," he said, noting that the vaccines received approval elsewhere last year.

 

JAB SENDS NURSE INTO ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK

A nurse suffered an anaphylactic reaction shortly after receiving the Pfizer vaccine at Gold Coast University Hospital.

Queensland Health confirmed the person, who has a history of anaphylaxis, was given the appropriate medical care and recovered quickly.

"Anaphylaxis has been identified as a possible side effect from any vaccination. Staff are well prepared for this and stringent processes are in place to manage such reactions," Queensland Health told the Courier Mail.

 

"After receiving the vaccine, recipients are observed for 15 minutes or 30 minutes if they have identified a history of anaphylaxis in the screening process.

"The response was prompt and effective and the patient received the appropriate treatment and has since recovered."

Seven new cases of the COVID-19 were recorded among people in hotel quarantine in Queensland today, taking the number of active infections in the state to 21.

 

 

 

 

STATES NEED TO RAMP UP JABS: FEDS

With the goal of having Australians vaccinated by October, the states will need to dramatically boost their COVID jab rollout efforts, the Morrison government has warned.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the states will "continue to ramp up" their vaccination programs, in order to meet the goal of having every Australian who wants the jab receiving it by October.

"We're really confident that all of the states will continue to ramp up, I understand that there have been different paces … but all of them have good plans," Mr Hunt said, according to the ABC.

 

 

 

 

"There will every week be challenges that will need to be overcome, but that's been the story of the last year."

Previously, Mr Hunt had said 80,000 doses would be circulated in the first week, with a "cautious and conservative" estimate that 60,000 would be administered.

However, ABC reported that only 63,140 doses were distributed, and 33,702 injected.

On average, about 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 jab are given in Australia daily - well behind target.

 

 

Originally published as AstraZeneca CEO pledges jab is '100 per cent effective'



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