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Jab at home plan to help speed up vaccination rollout

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A plan to allow GPs to give coronavirus vaccinations in the home, a surge in demand for the jab and more access is increasing confidence that the bulk of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccinations can be delivered by the end of the year.

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Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday announced an agreement that will see GPs receive a fee for delivering jabs to the frail, elderly or immobile in their own home.

It’s expected the program will help complete the first phase of the vaccination program, reaching people who could not get to a GP surgery or state clinic or initially declined to get a shot.

Over coming months, the amount of vaccine available and the number of places to get a jab are set to considerably ramp up.

But in the short term, the federal government is working with Victoria, which in some areas has had to pause bookings and walk-in appointments due to heavy public demand.

Hunt said in the final quarter of the year a further 800 GPs and the pharmacy network would be given the Moderna vaccine to deliver.

The federal government has ordered 25 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, with 10 million doses available this year and 15 million doses of its updated variant booster vaccine candidate expected to be delivered in 2022.

This will come on top of the locally made AstraZeneca and imported Pfizer doses.

The minister said the government now had a “clear line of sight” in terms of AstraZeneca dose supplies, while Pfizer had indicated supplies would grow over the next two months.

“It’s good but we want it to be better,” Hunt said of the rollout.

All Australians aged over 70 will get a letter over the next week from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and Mr Hunt encouraging them to come forward for a jab if they have not already done so.

“The older you are, the higher the risk. Every Australian can play their part,” Hunt said.

So far almost 5.9 million vaccinations have been given nationally, with Tasmania leading the rate of jabs per 100 people.

But on average only 4.2 per cent of people across the states have so far received a second dose, according to covid19data.com.au.

Victoria recorded two new local cases of COVID-19 on Monday, both children who are close contacts of previous cases and have not been in the community while infectious.

There were no cases reported in South Australia yesterday.

-with AAP

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