26 July 2021

ACT to keep Pfizer stocks as NSW pleads for more doses

| Dominic Giannini
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COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine vials

Around 10 per cent of ACT vaccines are being administered to residents of NSW. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith will keep the ACT’s Pfizer stocks in the Territory, despite pleas from NSW for more supply to help curb its growing outbreak.

Ms Stephen-Smith confirmed the government’s position on Monday morning (26 July), the same day the Territory is ramping up the rollout of Pfizer with an additional 4000 jabs of the vaccine being administered across government-run facilities this week.

Half of these additional appointments will be reserved for healthcare, residential aged care and residential disability care workers.

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Around 14,000 Pfizer doses will be administered across the Garran and Airport Pfizer hubs each week. This is expected to increase to between 15,000 and 16,700 doses a week from September.

Last week, Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT Government was currently vaccinating a large number of regional NSW residents, with an estimated 10 per cent of jabs going to people who live in NSW.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

According to ACT Health, as of 21 July, 43 per cent of residents have received one dose and 19 per cent were fully vaccinated.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said higher vaccination rates were needed in conjunction with the lockdown to help curb the spread of the delta variant.

“We need a very, very tight lockdown to get those numbers down and we need to do more. We also need vaccination,” Dr Chant said on Monday as the state recorded 145 new cases of locally acquired cases.

“Data is showing us we have too many people infectious in the community.”

Of the 145 new cases, 51 people were in the community throughout their infectious period, 25 cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period and the isolation status of 11 cases are under investigation.

There are currently 156 people in NSW hospitals with the virus, of whom 44 are in intensive care and 18 are on ventilators.

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Save your opprobrium for the federal government, not the states. The feds are the ones that created the vaccine bottleneck with their lackadaisical ordering and procurement. Now we have yet one more example of them trying to shift the blame off their own failures and onto the states.

Australians, in the past, always helped each other out. Not now. This is a dismaying act of selfishness based on paranoia and supported by the usual braying bunch of paranoids. It is an act no different from withholding our fire trucks while a fire rages in NSW, just in case we might have a fire in the ACT. Irrational thinking creates unnecessary fear resulting in cowards and cowardly behaviour.

Well written and thoughtful. Even idiots would understand.

HiddenDragon8:52 pm 26 Jul 21

“Last week, Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT Government was currently vaccinating a large number of regional NSW residents, with an estimated 10 per cent of jabs going to people who live in NSW.”

The word “estimated” in that sentence suggests that vaccination rates for the ACT, in the league tables which the media is now fond of quoting, need to be treated with some degree of caution.

Vaccines are distributed on a population basis. Redirect from within the State to meet urgency in Greater Sydney. And not sure why the rest of us are being called upon to offer up our doses when NSW was reluctant to do a hard shutdown – or follow it since. Entitled much?

No surprises here that a labor government is refusing to help a liberal government. We are only shooting ourselves in the foot as the longer NSW is in lockdown the longer there are restrictions on ACT residents (e.g. Victoria). We don’t need the vaccines so makes no sense hoarding them. People from NSW can and are already coming in via Queenbeayan to get vaccinated so this is purely a political statement.

Sorry, but no. ‘We don’t need the vaccines’??’ Yes, we flipping well do!

We’re already giving 10% of our vaccines to NSW. I’m in my thirties, live in Canberra, and can’t get a first dose for a couple more months.

It’s grossly unfair of people who are already vaccinated to throw the rest of Canberrans under the bus because they’re safe.

NSW voted for the mess they’re in. In the ACT we’re surrounded by them and in a precarious situation.

It’s not selfish of me to want to be protected.

So is your state-ment – political, that is! How can you be certain that we don’t need the vaccines. Very few people have had more than one shot?
Vote Liberal do we? 😉

Sam Oak,
Why don’t we need the vaccines?

Are we somehow mythically protected from Covid entering the ACT?

We can’t enforce a hard border closure to NSW like the other states can, the only thing that matters is the total number of people Vaccinated.

Funny how selfish we can be in a life-threatening situation. ACT has never had an outbreak and the risks of one are vanishingly small. Thirty year old Canberrans getting vaccinated now is like first class passengers getting the spare life jackets while escaping off the only life boats on a sinking Titanic. You forget we are all Australians and sure the leaders have made mistakes but now we call ourselves Canberrans and it is an us versus them mentality.

Sam Oak,
That is a ludicrous position. What on earth makes you think the chances of an outbreak in Canberra are vanishingly small when we are only 2.5 hours down the road from Sydney and there have already been cases in close proximity to the ACT and seeding events from Sydney in multiple other states.

And no 30 year olds are being Vaccinated in Canberra, they are simply now able to register their interest for when supply of Pfizer increases.

Not only that, there is already a massive oversupply of Astra Zeneca that is very effective and almost everyone can go to a GP and get.

What’s the difference between allocating more vaccines to NSW and vaccinating frontline health workers first? Thought the idea was to protect the rest of the population by targeting those groups most at risk. Would think at this point that the chances of an outbreak are significantly higher for the larger states where population density is an issue. Smaller states like Tassie, ACT, NT have lower population density and therefore are of lower need of the vaccine. Sure we are 3 hours out from Sydney but we don’t have the same number of high rise apartment blocks and most of our population can work from home being mostly public servants.

Sam Oak,
Except Sydney is in lockdown so there should be minimal risk of exposure to those doing the right thing there. There also should be minimal exposure to other areas from these people because they can’t leave.

If your argument was to vaccinate essential workers that must leave the area or are forced into contact with the public, then I agree they could be prioritised within NSWs existing vaccine supply or any future unallocated supply that is planned.

Front-line healthcare workers are different in that they don’t have a choice about the risk of their exposure, its inherent to the job.

And I’ll repeat, there is an oversupply of Astra Zeneca available that people stuck in the Sydney lockdown can avail themselves of. The risks are tiny.

You only have to look at Victoria to see how easy things can change with an outbreak, the ACT should be looking to get our Vaccination rates as high as possible with the supplies we’ve got due to our proximity to Sydney. Lest we end up like them.

Frank Spencer5:51 am 27 Jul 21

“We don’t need the vaccines” – very silly comment from a Liberal sounding voter.

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