CANBERRA, Australia — New figures show almost a quarter of all available doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are not being used in Australia.
The federal health department, on May 17, released data comparing the availability of vaccine doses and the number of jabs delivered.
Nationally, dose utilization as of week 12 of the vaccine rollout was 77 percent.
The Northern Territory had the worst lag of all the jurisdictions, with 47,652 doses available and 22,953 administered, giving it a utilization rate of just 58 percent.
Queensland was the worst-performing state, with 317,810 doses available and 170,330 delivered — or a usage rate of 64 percent.
Across the other states and territories, rates were: Tasmania (90 percent), New South Wales (78 percent), Victoria (77 percent), Western Australia (80 percent), South Australia (79 percent), Australian Capital Territory (82 percent).
The health department found all doses available for the aged and disability care program were being used, while the commonwealth primary care program was 75 percent utilization.
So far, 3.1 million doses have been administered nationally.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said some adjustments might be needed in the states and territories.
“We are encouraging all the states and territories — which we believe are doing an excellent job — to continue to use their vaccines,” he said.
“Firstly, we are now at 3,100,137 vaccinations around the nation. Secondly, we have now had over 436,000 vaccinations in the last week, which is a significant national record. And to have 436,000 vaccinations last week, I think, is a significant increase, but thirdly, to see a significant national increase is critical,” Hunt said in a statement.
“But now is the opportunity, as we have doubled doses from 100 to 200 in medium-sized clinics and tripled doses from 50 to 150 a week in the smaller clinics as supplies come on board, for more Australians to be vaccinated earlier and I would encourage as many people as possible to come forward. This is your chance, your time to protect yourself and to protect each other and to protect the community.”
“And where they feel that they have more capacity to open up channels, or where they feel they are using their capacity, to adjust their ordering.”
“It took 47 days to get to our first million doses of vaccine. It took an additional 19 days to get to our second million, and it took 17 days to get to our third million doses of vaccine. So despite a significant recalibration of the program, we’ve continued to build capacity, and we’ve continued to increase the rate of vaccinations,” Young said.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ojaswin Kathuria)
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