Sydney will receive another 200,000 doses of Pfizer as Gladys Berejiklian insists vaccination is the way out of lockdown – but Scott Morrison says the jab isn’t the ‘magic bullet’
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said higher vaccination rates are still needed
- She said even a dose of a Covid vaccine could slow the spread of the Delta variant
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday there was no ‘magic bullet’ to end lockdown
- He said a ‘vaccine solution’ cannot replace the effectiveness of a lockdown
Scott Morrison and NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian appear to disagree on whether vaccines or lockdown will end the Covid outbreak in Sydney sooner.
Ms Berejiklian stressed the importance of a drastic increase in vaccination, with 200,000 Pfizer injections entering the state in double the time.
However, the Prime Minister yesterday there was ‘no alternative to lockdown in NSW to get this under control’ and vaccines would not be coming soon enough.
“There’s no other magic bullet that can do that. There is no vaccine solution that will do that,” he said.
At yesterday’s press conference in Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was no ‘magic bullet’ to end Sydney’s lockdown restrictions, and that while vaccines could help, there was no alternative to the effectiveness of the lockdown.
The lockdown is coming to an end because the lockdown is working effectively. There is no easy way to bring these things down and it is the lockdown that does.
“The vaccines will provide some help, but they will not end this lockdown.”
The Prime Minister’s comments were in response to Ms Berejiklian’s repeated calls for Pfizer doses to be moved to mass vaccination centers in western Sydney.
She said at Sunday’s press conference that vaccinations were key to controlling the outbreak and ending the lockdown.
On Monday morning she clarified that while lockdown was essential, the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in Sydney needed increased vaccination rates to stop completely.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian during the NSW Daily Covid Update as NSW reported 145 new local cases. Ms Berejiklian had called for vaccination rates to be increased to slow the spread of the Delta variant in Greater Sydney as a way out of lockdown
Lockdown restrictions continued in Greater Sydney: the CBD pictured on Monday morning
“The more people who have received at least one dose, the less likely they are to spread it to everyone in their area and their community,” she said on the Today show.
‘With previous virus strains you may have infected one or two people in your household. With this strain, everyone gets it.
“That’s why we have to do a number of things. Yes, of course, lockdown, restrictions, but also getting that vaccination rate up.’
Ms Berejiklian said the concern in Sydney was that unvaccinated people who were unaware they were contagious were spreading the virus further to Sydney, which a dose of vaccine would help fight.
“We know from the advice of the health experts … that even one dose reduces how contagious you are,” she said.
The Prime Minister announced yesterday that more emergency doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be allocated to NSW, 200,000 this month and 90,000 this week.
NSW Prime Minister is concerned that unvaccinated people not knowing they are contagious with the Delta variant spread the virus further in Sydney
Late last week, the health department announced that an emergency allocation of Pfizer vaccines to NSW would be increased from 150,000 to 200,000 doses, to help tackle the Sydney outbreak.
On Monday, Ms Berejiklian announced 145 new community transmission cases in NSW, with 51 contagious people living in the community.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant urged those over 60 to get an AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as possible.
Morrison said yesterday that NSW would receive an additional 90,000 Pfizer vaccines starting this week, rising to 110,000 additional doses per week.
The Prime Minister also announced that Pfizer vaccines worth $85 million had been secured for the next two years as booster shots as Australia’s vaccination program continued.
The doses would be 60 million to arrive in 2022 and a further 25 million doses in 2023, in addition to the 40 million already arriving in Australia this year.