More than 9.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Australia. The roll out continues to gather pace, with 900,000 vaccinations delivered a week during July. Thank you to each and every Sunshine Coast resident who has come forward for a jab, you are helping to protect yourselves, your loved ones and the nation. There is a lot of misinformation currently out there about the vaccines and the roll out so please, read this update to get the facts to arm yourself against COVID-19.
As of 15 July 2021 9,806,809 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Australia. We anticipate reaching 10 million vaccinations by the end of the weekend.
Almost three quarters of our over 70s are protected, and more than 58 per cent of over 50s are protected. In total, more than one third of the eligible population aged over 16 are now protected.
All 2,566 Commonwealth Residential Aged Care Facilities have received both a first and second dose and more than 50% of NDIS participants in residential accommodation have received at least one dose.
The first 1 million doses in Australia took 45 days to administer, while the second million doses took 20 days. However, the roll out is now speeding up fast, and the most recent two million doses took 8 and 7 days to administer respectively. This is only going to get faster in the coming weeks.
From Monday, the Morrison Government has agreed with vaccine manufacturer Pfizer to increase supply of its vaccine to Australia to approximately 1 million doses per week. This is compared to an average of 350,000 per week in June. Australia is now expected to receive over 4.5 million doses of Pfizer in August. That is a significant increase from the 2.8 million in August we had previously planned and demonstrates the Government’s on-going action to complete the vaccine roll out as soon as possible.
Vaccination is our best defence and our only way forward out of this COVID-19 pandemic. As the National Cabinet has set out in its four stage National Plan (available here), the more people that get vaccinated, the sooner we will get back to normal life.
There have been some wild stories and myths flying around about COVID-19 vaccinations in recent months. You can get the answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as the truth about some of these COVID myths here.
However, in short – here are the facts.
There are currently two vaccines against COVID-19 approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia for adults over the age of 18; the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. Both vaccines have undergone rigorous safety and efficacy testing, and both have been approved by the TGA for adults over 18 following their usual thorough assessment process.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), a panel of experts put together by the Government to provide expert medical advice, have recommended that the Pfizer vaccine is the preferred vaccine for anyone aged under 60. However, ATAGI have also been clear that if you are over 18 years old and you wish to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine then you can make that choice in consultation with your GP.
You can find out more about the risks and benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine here. If you are aged between 18 and 59 and you wish to have the AstraZeneca vaccine I would encourage you to discuss this with your doctor right away so that you can make a fully informed decision.
For myself, I have already had my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and am eagerly awaiting confirmation of the date of my second. I know that there are small risks involved in taking any medication, however there are also significant risks to health involved in contracting COVID-19 when unvaccinated. So I chose to get vaccinated for my own health, for my family’s well-being and to help protect our community.
The Morrison Government is working closely together with the State Governments of Victoria and New South Wales to support households and businesses in these states affected during the current COVID-19 lockdowns.
In both states, under new combined support packages, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be further expanded and increased. For those living or working in an area locked down as a Commonwealth Government declared hotspot, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will increase to $600 if a person has lost 20 or more hours of work a week or $375 if a person has lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work a week, funded by the Morrison Government.
The Commonwealth and NSW have also agreed that from 18 July 2021 the COVID-19 Commonwealth Disaster Payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth declared hotspots in NSW that meet the criteria for the payment, paid for by the NSW Government.
The Commonwealth and NSW will also enter into a new 50/50 cost sharing arrangement for a new business support payment to be implemented and administered by NSW. A new business support payment will be available to entities with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover. Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll. For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.
The Victorian Government has agreed to provide a significant additional economic support package to businesses as part of sharing the costs of lock down with the Commonwealth.
These payments are in addition to the more than $95 billion in Commonwealth economic support provided to Victoria and NSW during the pandemic to date.
Throughout this crisis and beyond, I will work to keep Fisher residents and businesses informed with accurate and up to date information through Facebook, and via email. So, please follow me at www.facebook.com/wallace4fisher and look out for emails in the weeks and months to come. Please feel free to share this email with others to help spread the word.