Victoria to receive 400,000 Pfizer and Moderna vaccines amid federal-state stoush

Victoria to receive 400,000 Pfizer and Moderna vaccines amid federal-state stoush

Victorian government
Words by Lucas Radbourne

The federal government has announced Victoria will receive an additional 417,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses amid continued disagreement over communication.

Prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed the additional vaccine doses in a press conference today, comparing the seriousness of Victoria’s current outbreak to New South Wales and saying that these vaccine doses would initiate a three week, state-wide vaccine blitz.

Australia will also receive an additional one million Moderna vaccine doses from the European Union.

Federal health minister Greg Hunt outlined that the current additional doses consist of:

  • 127,600 Pfizer doses to be administered by general practitioners, arriving by the last week of September
  • 108,700 Pfizer doses to be administered by the Victorian government
  • 180,700 Moderna doses to be administered by pharmacies, arriving over the next two weeks

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews was alerted to the additional doses by a journalist during his own press conference today, saying he hadn’t received any confirmation from the federal government that the state would secure the extra supply.

Hunt refuted the premier’s claims, saying the Victorian government’s media unit was aware of the incoming doses.

The latest disagreement comes after Andrews accused the federal government of prioritising vaccine doses for Sydney with “secret…under the table” vaccine supply deals.

The Morrison government had previously announced three additional vaccine supply shipments for New South Wales since July, due to the relative severity of their outbreak.

That’s meant that on a per-capita basis, New South Wales has received around 500,000 more vaccine doses than it’s population warranted, and Victoria – before today’s announcement – had received 180,000 less.

66.2% of Victorians had received their first vaccine dose at the time of writing, with 40.8% fully vaccinated. Victoria has administered 5,657,494 doses in total and at its current rate, the state will hit its initial 70% before September 18, five days earlier than Andrews’ first predicted.

The rule changes that the state government originally outlined for September 23 include expanding the five kilometre radius to 10 kilometres and extending the time to exercise from two hours to three hours.

The government has also outlined that outdoor gym equipment and skate parks will reopen, and outdoor personal training of up to two people will be able to recommence. Real estate private inspections can also begin again, and construction sites will increase to 50% of capacity, once the state hits that 70% first dose threshold.

Victoria is currently on track to hit the 80% fully vaccinated threshold on December 1 this year.

Keep track of the federal government’s official vaccination rate tracker here.