Episodes
Video Extras
ArticlesLinks
More
Back

Federal Labor Blames Government's Slow Vaccine Rollout For Aged Care Outbreak

Federal Labor has blamed NSW COVID-19 in aged care on the poor vaccine rollout.

Anthony Albanese has seized on reports of aged care residents in Sydney being infected with COVID-19, blaming the Morrison government for its failure in rolling out the vaccine program.

The three were infected by two staff members and were among new local cases across NSW.

"It was another reminder of this government's incompetence when its comes to the rolling out of the vaccine," the opposition leader told reporters in Canberra.

But Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said all but one of the 2566 residential aged care facilities across the country have received both their first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccination.

"This level of vaccination has increased the protection levels of older people living in our nation's residential aged care facilities," Professor Kidd told reporters.

"They keep people out of hospital and keep people out of intensive care units." However, there is still no exact timetable for when under 40s can get the recommended Pfizer vaccination.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said there will be a marked step up in terms of availability of the Pfizer vaccine in the next few months, stepping up from around 300,000 doses a week now to about 600,000 doses a week, and further increases are forecast in September.

"There's not a fixed date that I can give you now," Senator Birmingham told ABC's Insiders program.

Mr Albanese said the inability to set a date is what happens when you think it's not a race.

"The fact there is no date or no timelines on the so-called four phases that we need to go through, says it all about this government," he said.

The four-stage plan to steer Australia through the COVID-19 pandemic and back to some sort of normality outlined by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week hinges on a vaccination target.

That target will be predicated on medical advice and modelling by the Doherty Institute being conducted over the next month or so.

"Every Australian wants us to get to stage four as quickly as possible, but we can only do that if we know that the health and safety of Australians is being protected on the way," Social Services Minister Anne Ruston told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.

Victoria is already complaining that its Pfizer allocation is dwindling as NSW gets more to battle its unfolding outbreak.

"We wish them every success, of course, but what we are concerned about is that there is a clear appetite for Victorians to get vaccinated," Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters at Cobblebank on Sunday.

"Disappointingly, Victoria will have to manage down for the next few weeks." There were no virus cases reported in Victoria.