NSW premier Gladys Berijiklian has ordered the creation of three new mass-vaccination hubs to speed up her state’s lagging vaccine rollout. After a sluggish start to the national vaccination campaign, which has been ranked as the slowest of any developed country in the world, the impact of the delta variant has prompted a renewed effort to increase the vaccination rate.
While Scott Morrison’s June 29 announcement stating that people under 40 can get the AstraZeneca vaccine from their GPs has proven to be both divisive and confusing, there is a consensus amongst health experts that getting an ambitious 80 per cent of the population vaccinated will be the only way to prevent periodic lockdowns such as the one that currently has an estimated 12 million Australians (almost half the population) under stay-at-home orders.
To that end, new mass-vaccination hubs will be opened in Wollongong, Macquarie Fields in Sydney’s Southwest and in the CBD. These new facilities will be of a similar scale to the already operating hub in Homebush, with the Macquarie Fields facility taking over a disused Coles supermarket and the Wollongong facility taking over an old David Jones department store. The exact site of the Sydney CBD hub is yet to be finalised, but it will be located near both heavy and light rail stations and operate with extended hours. Outside of Metropolitan Sydney, GPs and approved pharmacies will be administering the easily stored and handled AstraZeneca vaccine from mid-July.