European Union to blame for Australia’s slow vaccine rollout David Littleproud claims

Ruben Hill
April 5, 2021

Most of the documented cases were people under the age of 55.

The federal government has been widely criticised for delays in the vaccination program, which so far uses the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, with the accusation it has woefully under-delivered with regards to the number of Australians vaccinated so far.

A record 79,283 people received an initial dose on Thursday, the latest day that such data is available, Health Minister Greg Hunt told a press briefing on Sunday.

"We've worked very closely with the United States because they're our most important ally but we don't do that in an antagonistic way, we do it in a way to protect our sovereignty and our national interest", Mr Dutton said.

"The supply at this stage is looking strong", he said.

But that brought the total number of Australians vaccinated to just 841,855, well short of the four million by the end of March once promised by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Hunt said a decision by the NSW government to open another 36 mass vaccination clinics in the next week was a significant step in the vaccine rollout. That has always been, always been, part of the plan that was included in the National Partnership Agreements as an option, ' he said.

Senior federal minister Peter Dutton said the rollout was being done in an orderly fashion as Australia was not in the same state of "mad panic" as the U.S. and UK.

On 18th March, the regulator said there had been five cases of a rare brain blood clot among 11 million administered shots.

Health authorities have said it is "likely" the vaccine is linked to a 44-year-old Melbourne man being hospitalised with blood clots, nearly a fortnight after he received his injection.

It is expected that by the end of the week, around one million Australians will receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

"The arithmetic is simple on this", Mr Littleproud told Today.

In the meantime, Mr Hunt said anyone susceptible to blood clotting should seek advice from their GP before going ahead with the jab.

"The states have made very good progress in vaccinating their own frontline health workers and others within their jurisdiction, but the Commonwealth has made a mess of its responsibilities to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our community, residents of aged care facilities, and the hundreds of thousands of people who work so hard caring for them", he said.

Mr Hunt welcomed news there were no new locally-acquired virus infections on Sunday, when there was the risk of a major outbreak in both Queensland and NSW last week.

Australia has almost eliminated local transmissions by closing its global border to non-residents, but occasional cases have leaked into the community from quarantine hotels where returned overseas travelers must isolate for 14 days.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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