Covid-19 Australia booster vaccines: Hamish Macdonald slams booster rollout

Covid-19 Australia booster vaccines: Hamish Macdonald slams booster rollout 2
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The real reason Australians are struggling to get booster shots – as The Project host Hamish Macdonald slams the rollout

  • 2.5million out of 4.25million eligible Australians have had their booster shots
  • But some are finding the shots hard to come by including Hamish McDonald 
  • Vaccine boss John Frewen said the issue is not overall supply but distribution
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The man in charge of Australia’s vaccine rollout has revealed why some people are finding it hard to book in their booster shots.

Covid-19 Taskforce Commander Lieutenant General John Frewen said the issue is not overall supply but patchy distribution around the nation. 

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So far more than 2.5million out of 4.25million eligible Australians have had their boosters. 

Many have simply walked into their nearest pharmacy, GP or state hub and got a jab on the spot.

But others have found access difficult, including The Project host Hamish McDonald who had to take an elderly relative out of his aged care home because it ran out of doses. 

General Frewen said there is no shortage of jabs but some providers have more in stock than others. 

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‘We’ve got more than enough vaccines for everybody who is eligible,’ he told Sky News on Tuesday.

‘The real challenge in this now is distribution and just making sure that we’re getting the vaccines to where the demand is so that people can get them.’

So far more than 2.5million out of 4.25million eligible Australians have had their boosters. Pictured: A drive-though vaccination in Sydney in October

So far more than 2.5million out of 4.25million eligible Australians have had their boosters. Pictured: A drive-though vaccination in Sydney in October

General Frewen urged Australians to try other providers if their first choice doesn’t have availability. 

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‘I do ask people to have, perhaps a little bit of patience if they can’t get an immediate booking, but I’m sure if people try a few different avenues that they’ll be able to get their boosters pretty quickly,’ he said.

‘There are more vaccines being delivered this week and more vaccines being delivered next week… and there are over four million doses already sitting on shelves around the country in GPs and pharmacists.’

McDonald revealed how he helped his relative get a booster shot on Monday night’s edition of The Project.  

‘Everybody in our lives, I think it’s fair to say, has had some challenge in trying to get their booster or get their appointment,’ he said.

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‘We’ve got a close relative in residential aged care. Last week we took him out for the day because they’d run out of doses.

‘They didn’t have a date as to when they could deliver it, they found a walk in place that could deliver it.

‘I don’t really under stand how this point in the pandemic aged care settings haven’t had the boosters rolled through them.’

Covid-19 Taskforce Commander Lieutenant General John Frewen (pictured) said the issue is not overall supply but patchy distribution around the nation

Covid-19 Taskforce Commander Lieutenant General John Frewen (pictured) said the issue is not overall supply but patchy distribution around the nation

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On Tuesday an extra 3.75million Australians became eligible for boosters after the government cut the gap between second and third doses from five to four months.

The gap will be cut to three months on 31 January. 

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has blasted the government for not cutting the gap to three months immediately.

He said the staggered approach was ‘not because there’s a change in advice, but because of the capacity constraints mean that they couldn’t just shift it through to three months. 

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‘So, we have no boosters being available and booster shots being cancelled.’ 

Health Minister Greg Hunt on Monday said the booster rollout was ‘more than half a million ahead of schedule, ahead of expectation as to where we would have been at this time.’

Pharmacist Rachel Raleigh using a freezer at a Covid19 vaccination centre on the Gold Coast

Pharmacist Rachel Raleigh using a freezer at a Covid19 vaccination centre on the Gold Coast

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