New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejikilian said she was pleased that thousands of Australians have registered for the state’s Pfizer CCP virus vaccination roll-out.
Nearly 110,000 people aged 40 to 49 had registered their interest to get the Pfizer vaccine, Berejikilian said on Monday, with 9,000 already booked in.
“I want to thank the community for their enthusiasm and patience. I could not be more pleased,” she said.
The premier wants at least 80 percent of NSW adults—at least 5 million—fully vaccinated before she considers opening international borders. She said the state was losing $1.5 billion (US$1.2 billion) a month due to the lack of overseas travellers. According to the premier, NSW had given 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
“But if the majority of our population is vaccinated, we can start thinking about those things. We can start thinking about living safely with COVID and resuming our contacts with the rest of the world,” she said.
Echoing Berejikilian, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said that at some stage the world would get access to Australia, and NSW residents must be prepared for it.
“It is up to each and every one of us to step forward and have the vaccine,” said Hazzard. “That is the one weapon that we have to fight back against this virus, and I encourage everyone in New South Wales to get the shot.”
However, vaccine hesitancy is a continuing issue with many concerned over the rare cases of blood clots stemming from the AstraZeneca shot.
On May 13, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) noted that there had been an additional seven cases of clots that have been assessed as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) likely linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
This takes the total number of cases assessed as TTS following the AstraZeneca vaccine to 18, with around 1.8 million doses administered.
The TGA said of the 18 cases, 10 with TTS following the AstraZeneca vaccine have recovered, and one has died.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Karen Price said she is regularly seeing vaccination hesitancy among patients who are over 50 as well, The Australian reported on Tuesday.
“Some people are adamant they’re going to wait. Even though I bring out my infographics, they’re adamant they wait to wait. Unfortunately, they’ve got this idea there’s a superior vaccine,” Price said.
“No amount of talking about statistics saying the blood clots are extremely rare is going to change some people’s mind because they fear they will be the one.”