Liberal senator Amanda Stoker, who was among the Coalition women handed additional responsibilities in the recent Morrison government reshuffle, says she is not seeking to run in Andrew Laming’s seat at the next election.
Some of Western Australia’s most vulnerable people are flocking to receive their coronavirus jabs as the rollout begins in remote Aboriginal communities, reports AAP.
About 200 people were expected to be vaccinated on Tuesday in Beagle Bay, on the Dampier Peninsula in the state’s north.
It is the first remote community in WA to receive the vaccines, which are being administered by Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services.
Medical director Lorraine Anderson says the successful start bodes well for keeping the virus out of vulnerable communities.
“We’ve been blown away today by the enthusiasm of the community coming to be vaccinated, and especially the older people,” she told AAP.
“There’s queues of people here wanting to get the vaccine. We’re really excited that people are accepting this vaccine as well as what they are today.”
Tourists and travellers remain barred from entering more than 200 remote Aboriginal communities across WA as part of the state’s Covid-19 response.
But the vaccination program remains a major safeguard for when access is eventually restored.
“I think it’s fairly well-known that people in remote Aboriginal communities have a much higher rate of chronic disease, in particular diabetes and heart disease,” Anderson said.
A thousand doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered to Broome on Friday.
KAMS reaches just over half the Aboriginal population in the Kimberley, and it’s aiming to vaccinate 90% of people in the remote communities it looks after.
Health workers spent about eight weeks visiting remote communities to discuss the vaccine and address any concerns.
The KAMS graphics team also went to work on translating the health department messaging to make it more accessible.
Liberal MP Jason Falinski is on the ABC with Labor’s Peter Khalil, who has criticised the speed of the vaccine roll out.
I mean, you can say a lot about this federal government but to suggest that the vaccine rollout has not been well planned and well executed by the federal government is, I think, a total miscarriage of the facts that are in front of us.
This is your responsibility. The one thing that Morrison has actually claimed that they have full responsibility for can’t handball it off, fob it off, throw it to the states, it is your responsibility. You promised four million by the end of March and you have failed? OK?
When will phase 1a be completed?
On the phases, we are looking to complete the 1a in the coming weeks, and then by the middle of the year 1b will be completed.
On reports AstraZeneca has been suspended for people under 55, Kelly says Australian authorities are “aware of it” and “looking at it closely”.
But for the moment we are pushing ahead with that same AstraZeneca rollout, and that is our workhorse at the moment in our state and territory clinics.
And that’s the end of the press conference.
Should states have a unified response to outbreaks, and with the vaccine program rolling out, when will states chose to “stop closing their borders in response to outbreaks”?
Firstly, as we have said all the way through the pandemic, the public health responses are a responsibility of the states and territories, they need to do what they see fit to protect the populations of their own states and territories. I would beg to differ about states and territories taking different responses. I am actually very much, I very much welcome what has been pretty much the same response all the way through in relation to the events in Brisbane over the last few days. Western Australia has gone a bit further than the others, and particularly in their geographic understanding of the hotspot being the whole of Queensland, but most of the rest of the states have been, have taken a similar approach to grated Brisbane.
On the second question, he says there have been “very frank and productive conversations over the last couple of weeks in relation to how the vaccine rollout will assist us and modify responses to these sorts of outbreaks”.
We are in a situation where we are as a higher risk as we have been since the beginning of the pandemic. We know as we mostly open and there are very few restrictions on our movement, on the things we can do as a society, that means that the outbreaks can spread quickly, and so that’s why that very strong public health response is absolutely crucial at the moment, and the more vaccine that gets out there, the more people that are protected, that will decrease the outbreaks in the spread over the coming months.
Asked about reports of vaccine wastage, Kelly says “cold chain logistics is a challenge for any vaccination program” and says he’s aware of a “small number” instances but does not have figures on hand.
First question to Kelly. Why is the vaccine rollout so slow?
We have a fantastic partnership with the states and territories and that is working very well and has done from the beginning, and I’m not going to call out any particular state or territory in this regard. We are working very closely together on this massive logistic exercise. I will make one point though, and I recognise that this has been said differently in other press conferences today, but from the beginning, we have been very clear from the commonwealth how much vaccine is coming in and how much is being distributed to the places where the vaccine can be given, including each state and territory. We have been very clear in relation to the Pfizer vaccine, because the second dose needs to be given is three weeks after the first, the commonwealth, as part of our responsibility. will be keeping a second dose available for every single person that gets a first dose. There is no need for a state or territory to be keeping any vaccine aside for that purpose, that is the commonwealth’s responsibility.
Kelly says authorities “will be watching very carefully what happens in Brisbane over the coming days and indeed in northern New South Wales”, because there were confirmed cases that also visited that area.
Greater Brisbane now a national hotspot for commonwealth support
The chief medical officer Prof Paul Kelly has stepped up.
He says that he is declaring greater Brisbane area a Covid-19 hotspot for the purposes of commonwealth support.