COVID-19

‘Mysterious’: MP slams Aus vaccine maker

“I do find that a little mysterious,” Brad Hazzard told ABC 7.30 host Leigh Sales.His comments came just a day after Health Department secretary Brendan Murphy claimed Melbourne-based CSL would produce one million vaccine doses each week in the coming weeks.The original goal set out by CSL and the federal government was to start producing a million doses a week by the end of March.But Professor Murphy could not say when that might actually be achieved. Mr Hazzard was asked whether he thought it was odd that CSL was unable to provide a timeline for how many doses it could produce a week and when.“It is challenging for the federal government, I’m sure at the present time, to know precisely how much vaccine is coming to us from either offshore or onshore,” he said.“But we were led to believe that CSL in Victoria would be giving us much larger regular supplies, and for whatever reason that hasn’t been achieved.”Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt was also probed by reporters about the CSL rollout.He said it was hard to put a set figure on how many doses would be cleared each week because it varied. “We’re expecting later this week over 470,000 (doses), early next week approximately 480,000, and then late next week or early the following week 670,000,” Mr Hunt told reporters on Wednesday.“If that third batch were to arrive late next week, that would mean we’d passed the million mark for that week. If it were to pass over into the following week, then we’d pass it in that following week.”Mr Hazzard also offered a subtle gibe at the Morrison government for promising but not delivering on the vaccine rollout.He acknowledged the federal government had a difficult job trying to do the right thing by each state but noted the lack of transparency and communication.“(The federal government) is having a very difficult time knowing precisely how much vaccine will be available, what quantity … and it has to go through all the approval processes,” Mr Hazzard said.“There was clearly an expectation from some of their earlier statements they would have a lot more.”Mr Hunt said on Wednesday the government had received 1.3 million locally produced doses so far.“It’s an extraordinary achievement that they’ve already had a release of 830,000, then an additional amount, which is taken us above 1.3 million,” he said.About 920,334 vaccinations have been administered, but that does not mean all of those people have received both doses.

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