The NSW premier says the state must get its “fair share” of COVID-19 vaccines from the Commonwealth after virus-hit Victoria was bestowed with an additional 100,000 doses due to their outbreak.
NSW recorded zero new local cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, as well as five cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
NSW Health said it had administered more than 80,000 vaccines in the past week, with the total number of jabs administered in NSW rising to almost 1.5 million. The latter tally includes Commonwealth-administered doses.
Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said the Victorian outbreak, which has prompted a 14-day lockdown scheduled to conclude on Thursday, should not prompt an alteration of the distribution of vaccines to states.
She said the current outbreak in Victoria – currently dealing with 94 active COVID-19 cases – was not dissimilar to past outbreaks in NSW.
Vaccines should be administered on the basis of state population size, Ms Berejiklian said, meaning NSW would get the most doses.
“We’ve been through outbreaks, there’s going to be more outbreaks – we are in a pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
“I appreciate the pain and angst our Victorian citizens are going through.
“The Avalon cluster, we had over 170 cases, 30 in one day, we’ve been through rough times. We’re trying to do the heavy lifting, bringing back 3000 Aussies every week, we haven’t stopped.”
Ms Berejiklian earlier on Monday said states should be incentivised to “get on top of things” and deal with COVID-19 cases proportionately.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that the additional vaccine doses sent to Victoria were not rerouted from NSW or any other state.
It comes after a COVID-positive Victorian family which travelled to parts of southern NSW were found to have a different coronavirus strain to other people associated with the Greater Melbourne outbreak.
The family have the “Delta” strain of the virus, first found in India.
However, no instances of COVID-19 transmission have been uncovered to date in southern NSW towns such as Gundagai, Goulburn and Jervis Bay.
NSW Health on Monday also announced that COVID-19 fragments were located in the Castle Hill sewage network, taking in a number of northwest Sydney suburbs.
However the health agency reiterated that recently-recovered COVID-19 cases can continue to shed virus fragments in waste despite being non-infectious.