A Federal Labor MP has slammed the Morrison Government’s handling of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, likening the number of doses given in WA to the number of Big Macs sold at the McDonald’s restaurant in Northbridge.
Member for Perth Patrick Gorman told The West Live the Federal Government had to get the roll-out back on track, following a rise in vaccination hesitancy after the AstraZeneca jab was linked to the death of a New South Wales woman.
“I did actually have a moment of wondering, when the Prime Minister was here in Western Australia, spending day after day with his photo opps … should he actually be locked away in Canberra sorting out this mess,” Mr Gorman said.
“I sort of thought maybe he’s hiding from the vaccine chaos by coming over to WA, and I hate when our State is used like that, but that might be me being a little too cynical.”
Mr Gorman criticised the Morrison Government for “not doing enough” when it came to initially signing vaccine contracts, and relying too heavily on the AstraZeneca option.
“That has left us behind (other countries),” the Labor MP said.
“We haven’t got the logistics right, in terms of how we roll out the vaccine.
“I looked at the data … 224 (doses) were administered in Western Australia on Saturday, now I reckon they served more Big Macs at the Northbridge McDonald’s on Saturday — it’s just pathetic.”
In total, 1.7 million doses have been administered in Australia as of yesterday, with 67,000 jabs given in the previous 24-hour recording period.
In WA, 78,000 doses have been administered since the roll-out began, compared with 178,000 in NSW, 168,000 in Victoria and 126,000 in Queensland.
Just over 1900 jabs were administered in WA in the previous 24-hour recording period.
Those aged over 50 could be vaccinated faster than expected after National Cabinet met on Monday to go over plans to bring forward phases of the roll-out.
Scott Morrison said State and Territory leaders had “agreed in-principle to a series of changes to the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy” that would be put forward for approval at the next meeting of National Cabinet tomorrow.
“(This includes) options to bring forward the commencement of vaccinations for over 50-year-olds under the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy priority group 2a, and the readiness of more State and Territory-operated vaccination sites — including mass vaccination sites, as vaccine supplies increase,” he said in a statement on Monday night.
“National Cabinet reinforced that general practice will continue to be the primary model of rolling out vaccinations for Australians over 50 years of age, with States and Territories to consider options to supplement roll-out through expanded State vaccination centres.”