NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has voiced concerns over the federal government’s handling of the vaccine rollout.
Speaking on Monday, Berejiklian said the lack of planning at “other levels” of government regarding the handling of COVID-19 was frustrating.
“You have to plan for the future,” she said. “You have to plan for the weeks and months ahead. I am getting frustrated that people are not doing that at other levels. We need to plan ahead for the future.
Berejiklian said the vaccine needed to be more widely accessible, and that more GPs needed to be recruited to administer the Pfizer vaccine.
“We need to make sure the vaccine is accessible to all our population. And we have those doses available. We need to make sure enough GPs are being signed up. I have been calling on this for weeks, weeks and weeks, if not months.”
“Our GPs want to do more. They want more doses and they also want more GPs to come online. That is necessary. That is not something that the New South Wales government can control.”
Amid the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia, which has seen Sydney and surrounding areas, Darwin and Perth lockdown, and other states and territories introduce new restrictions, most Australians remains unprotected from the virus.
Berejiklian’s comments came before the National cabinet meeting on Monday night between federal and state and territory leaders. The cabinet agreed to make vaccinations mandatory for all aged care workers, and to a new indemnity scheme for GPs so they can administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults of any age, should they wish to take it.
The cabinet also agreed that international arrivals in hotel quarantine will be separated from domestic arrivals.
As it stands, Australia has fully vaccinated less than 5 per cent of its population and according to data from the Global Change Data Lab, Australia ranks last of all 37 OECD nations when it comes to the percentage of the population vaccinated.