NSW govt pleads for more vaccine info

The NSW government has been left in the dark on key aspects of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including which NSW aged care facilities have been visited by vaccine teams and how many residents have got the jab.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again pleaded for the Commonwealth to share more information.

“It would help us enormously if we knew which aged care facilities had received the vaccine … and also whether the staff at those facilities had got the vaccine,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Wednesday.

There is “a lot of work to be done” in communicating to stressed aged care residents when they will be getting their vaccine, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said. 

The premier revealed that the Commonwealth did not forewarn NSW that it would be enlisting the military to help with the aged care rollout.

Mr Hazzard was in Ms Berejiklian’s office on Tuesday, the same day the development was reported by media, and they both found out together, she said. 

“I look forward to receiving that information in due course from the federal government,” Mr Hazzard said. 

The NSW government also wants to receive written notice about how many vaccine doses it will get. 

Mr Hazzard said he has asked his federal counterpart Greg Hunt for a “full exchange of information, full transparency” to allow the state to roll out vaccines as quickly as possible.

Other state ministers had “communicated similar issues” to Mr Hunt as well, he said. 

NSW will be ready to start giving people the AstraZeneca jab at hubs at St George and Hornsby Hospitals from next Wednesday. 

But Mr Hazzard said “again, we literally are just receiving” information about whether AstraZeneca can be used for the first stages of the rollout. 

“We need to have more detail on precisely when the various doses are going to arrive here,” Mr Hazzard said. 

Ms Berejiklian and Mr Hazzard praised the federal government for procuring the vaccines and emphasised that they were working in collaboration with federal counterparts.  

The NSW government will have vaccinated 15,000 people by the end of Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian said. 

Of the 6500 people working in the quarantine system, about 4200 have been vaccinated. 

Mr Hazzard will discuss with federal colleagues in the next few weeks whether the vaccination program can be expanded to allow people to get the jab from their own GPs. 

The government is also pleased at the success of its Service NSW check-in app, which three quarters of the state’s residents have downloaded.

About 118 million check-ins have been recorded through the app so far, Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said.  

The government will explore ways the app can be used in the future, such as sharing information during natural disasters. 

NSW again recorded no local coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.

The state has now gone 45 days without a locally transmitted case of the virus.

More than 17,000 people were tested in that period, which Ms Berejiklian said was “a really good sign” that the state was not being complacent. 

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