Australian state to boost vaccination rollout

Sydney: The government of Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) announced the expansion of COVID-19 vaccine facilities, as the state is continuing to witness a spike in local transmission.

 The expansion was designed to facilitate the federal government’s acceleration of the vaccine rollout ahead of an increase in supply of Pfizer vaccines expected later this year, of which the Australian federal government has purchased 40 million doses, reports Xinhua news agency.

 It will consist of two new mass vaccination centres, one in southwest Sydney and the other in the city of Wollongong, as well as a large clinic in the heart of the state capital.

 “In NSW we have a sense of urgency about getting jabs in arms, because once the vast majority of our population is vaccinated, we can start a conversation about reaching a ‘COVID-normal’ state,” the state’s Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Thursday.

 The location for the Sydney city vaccination hub has been secured close to a number of transport options.

This coupled with extended opening hours will provide increased access to Sydney’s working residents.

In order to get vaccinations to people in regional areas, the state health authorities also announced that 22 pharmacies across rural NSW will begin administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged over 60 from mid-July.

“We know that some of these communities have limited local access to general practitioner services and having these pharmacies involved will assist with the phased rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine to these communities,” said Berejiklian.

 “This is a vital step to help ensure as many people in NSW as possible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.” The total number of vaccines administered in NSW now reached 2,231,996.