Scott Morrison puts National Cabinet back to a ‘war footing’ over vaccine rollout

National Cabinet will return every two weeks as Scott Morrison attempts to speed up Australia’s glacial vaccine rollout

  • Australia has only administered 1.2million vaccines as of Monday April 12
  • That is well short of the government’s previous target to vaccinate 4 million
  • Scott Morrison will ask state premiers to meet every two weeks from now on

Scott Morrison will recall National Cabinet every two weeks as he attempts to speed up the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

The prime minister is under increasing pressure over the slow rollout which has seen only 1,234,681 vaccines administered as of April 12.

That is well short of the government’s previous target to vaccinate 4 million by April 1.

The prime minister is under increasing pressure over the slow rollout which has seen only 1,234,681 vaccines administered as of April 12. Pictured: A nurse gets vaccinated in Melbourne

The rollout has been hampered by supply delays due to a European export ban which resulted in 3million doses not arriving.

The operation then took a heavy blow last week when scientists recommended under 50s should have the Pfizer vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca jab which causes blood clots in extremely rare cases.

The news forced Mr Morrison to order 20million more Pfizer doses and scrap his aim of vaccinating all Australians by October because they won’t arrive by then.

There are also concerns that states are not administering the jabs fast enough, with South Australia rating the worst having only handed out 57 per cent of its doses.

Mr Morrison is going to recall National Cabinet every two weeks to keep a closer eye on how the rollout is progressing.

‘There are serious challenges we need to overcome caused by patchy international vaccine supplies, changing medical advice and a global environment of need caused by millions of Covid-19 cases and deaths,’ he said.

Scott Morrison will recall National Cabinet every two weeks as he attempts to speed up the Covid-19 vaccine rollout

Scott Morrison will recall National Cabinet every two weeks as he attempts to speed up the Covid-19 vaccine rollout

‘This is a complex task and there are problems with the programme that we need to solve to ensure more Australians can be vaccinated safely and more quickly.

‘I have requested that National Cabinet and our health ministers move back to an operational footing – to work together, closely, to tackle, head on, the challenges we are all facing with making our vaccination programme as good as it can be.’

National Cabinet will meet on Monday 19 April and every two weeks after that.

It comes after the boss of the medicines regulator said Australians have more chance of winning the lotto than suffering a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Professor John Skerritt, head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, said only two people in Australia have suffered the rare clotting event after about 700,000 received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

That’s a rate of one in 350,000. Oz Lotto says one in 55 players win a lotto prize, although only one in 45 million win the jackpot.

Talking about the chance of getting a blood clot caused by the vaccine, Prof Skerritt said: ‘It is an extremely remote and unlikely event. It is a very rare finding. As I said before, your chances of winning Lotto are much higher.’

Australians have more chance of winning the lotto than suffering a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Pictured: SA's Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier (right) gets the jab

Australians have more chance of winning the lotto than suffering a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Pictured: SA’s Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier (right) gets the jab

This week a woman in her 40s in Western Australia was hospitalised with blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The woman is receiving treatment for ‘thrombosis with thrombocytopenia’ and is in a stable condition with a good chance of recovery, said Professor Skerritt.

The Federal Government has recommended anyone under 50 to have the Pfizer vaccine instead due to concerns surrounding blood clots with AstraZeneca.

The UK and several European countries have also issued similar advice due to the very rare clotting incidents.

The government had been planning on opening borders before the end of October but the recent scuppering of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out means that is in doubt.

The prime minster has encouraged Australians over 50 to have the AstraZeneca jab because they are less at risk of the clotting events and more at risk of getting seriously sick from Covid-19.

A woman in her 40s has been hospitalised with blood clots reportedly after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Pictured: A doctor receives the jab

A woman in her 40s has been hospitalised with blood clots reportedly after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Pictured: A doctor receives the jab

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