Good morning and welcome to the Tuesday blog.
I’m Matilda Boseley and let’s jump into the day’s news.
If you are over 50, there is a chance you could be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine soon than expected. Australia is considering moving to a two-phase rollout plan as states put pressure on the federal government to get needles in arms sooner.
Despite usually being on good terms with the commonwealth, NSW premier Glady Berejiklian blasted the vaccine rollout ahead of the national cabinet meeting yesterday, suggesting anyone over 50 who wants the jab should be able to get one now the supply of AstraZeneca has ramped up.
It was a sentiment echoed by other state leaders as well.
By the end of that national cabinet meeting, prime minister Scott Morrison and the state leaders had reached an in-principle deal to bring forward jabs for over-50s and prepare mass vaccination sites for the rest of the population.
But the plan, which will be outlined in detail on Thursday, will rely on greater supply and distribution of vaccines.
Australia’s vaccine program began spluttering when there was a shortfall in exports Europe and took a second confidence hit with concerns over links between the AstraZeneca shot and blood clots in under-50s.
AstraZeneca supplies are expected to be redirected to over-50s under the revised plan, following advice given to national cabinet by medical experts.
But, although Australian pharmaceutical company CSL is now producing more than a million doses of AZ a week, there is around a month delay before these will be distributed as final safety batch testing is conducted.
After the meeting Berejiklian seemed hopeful, saying Morrison had committed to providing more “precise” information about vaccine supplies (the lack of transparency being one of her main grievances).
She said the vaccination program should give states the ability to “scale up” when supplies become available.
We need to be ready, because the quicker we’re able to vaccinate our population … the better for us, and also in terms of the economy and job and international trade.
With that why don’t we get right into the morning’s news. If there is something you reckon I’ve missed or think should be in the blog but isn’t, shoot me a message on Twitter @MatildaBoseley or email me at [email protected].