WA hails early COVID-19 vaccine program

Tim DorninAAP
Nurse Antonia Garza (right) was among frontline workers to receive the Pfizer vaccine jab in Perth.
Camera IconNurse Antonia Garza (right) was among frontline workers to receive the Pfizer vaccine jab in Perth.

About 4000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Western Australia with officials hailing the first week of the program a "great result".

Health Minister Roger Cook said more than 2800 frontline workers had so far received the Pfizer jab with the federal government also vaccinating more than 1000 people across the aged care network.

Mr Cook said there had been no reports of any vaccine doses being wasted.

"It's gone extremely well. We haven't had any hitches," he told reporters on Sunday.

The minister said another 5000 doses were expected to arrive in WA in the coming days with the government planning to extend the program to Bunbury, south of Perth, on Tuesday.

With the arrival of the first 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia, Mr Cook said the state government was still waiting to hear from the commonwealth on the distribution process in March.

He said that was expected to include a large shipment to bolster the government's program, but also the provision of the vaccine directly to the GP network.

His comments came after a survey of Australian Medical Association members in WA expressed concern over the state's ability to cope with a major outbreak of COVID-19.

AMA president Andrew Miller said, the virus aside, the government needed to open more hospital beds, including an extra 100 in emergency wards.

But Mr Cook said the AMA survey came before the state's recent COVID-19 lockdown, which showed how well its testing and contact tracing systems could operate and how hospitals were ready to act.

"Our system has demonstrated that it is battled-hardened and it is match fit and it would deal with any crisis that befell our community," the minister said.

WA reported no new coronavirus infections on Sunday.

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