Vaccine shipment boosts troubled rollout

More than one million Pfizer doses have arrived in Australia and more shipments are expected soon.
More than one million Pfizer doses have arrived in Australia and more shipments are expected soon.

Australia's troubled vaccine rollout has been given a much-needed boost with the arrival of one million Pfizer doses.

Similar-sized shipments are expected to arrive in the coming weeks and months, speeding up the sluggish program.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the precious cargo was ready to be rolled out.

But she was reluctant to set any vaccine targets or deadlines after so many earlier milestones were missed.

"We want to make sure we're not giving false promises to people," Ms Andrews said on Monday.

More than 10 million doses have been administered in Australia, with 13 per cent of the adult population fully vaccinated.

Ms Andrews urged people to remember there was light at the end of the tunnel.

"We've been doing our best to get as many vaccines as we can, either produced locally or imported into the country, but that is happening now."

John Frewen, who is coordinating the vaccine rollout, is distributing the latest shipment across the country.

Lieutenant General Frewen is also focused on bringing more pharmacists and GP clinics into the rollout.

"We're on the verge of starting to bring in more pharmacists who can administer AstraZeneca in the first instance, but then we will prepare them to be able to administer mRNA vaccines as well," he said.

"The combination of the additional supply and the additional distribution nodes means we're hoping we can really start to accelerate the rollout."

Victoria recorded another 13 community-acquired cases of coronavirus on Monday, with all of them linked to existing outbreaks.

The number of coronavirus exposure sites across the state has ballooned to more than 270.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is warning that the state's five-day lockdown, due to end at midnight on Tuesday, is likely to be extended.

"If you think about it like a fire, we have a containment line and are making significant progress but it is not out yet," he told reporters.

"What we know with Delta is an hour is like a day and day is like a week."

NSW recorded another 98 local cases of coronavirus, including 20 people who were in the community for their entire infectious period.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said reducing that figure was key to lifting Sydney's lockdown.

"That 20 number is the number we are really keen to nudge," she told reporters.

"We need to get ahead of that number in order to reduce the cases in the community and the closer we get that number to zero, the sooner we can end the lockdown."

Construction across Sydney has been shut down for a fortnight, leaving hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

Business and union groups have warned the building restrictions will cost the economy more than $700 million a week.

But authorities argue the construction shutdown is needed to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Australian Associated Press