Press Conference

Transcript
25 Jul 2021
Canberra, ACT
Prime Minister
E&OE

Prime Minister: Well, a magnificent, a magnificent effort in the pool. Our golden queens of the pool have taken the four by 100 [metre] women’s relay, and it was daylight second, taking the silver. It was an extraordinary performance from Meg Harris, Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell as they absolutely blitzed the field, and I think that's really lifted the spirits of Australians right across the country today. But, a special shout out too to Mollie Callaghan and Madi Wilson who did the hard work in the heats, as well, building up to that final. So, a truly tremendous Olympic moment for Australia and I think something that Australians are celebrating all around the country. Also, congratulations to Jack McLoughlin taking that silver, he was joined by Elijah Winnington in the final, and Brendan Smith picking up that bronze earlier today as well. Hopefully, there'll be many more in the pool and so many other areas where Australians are competing. But, that four by 100 [metre], that's quite a way to bring in your first gold medal at the Olympics in Tokyo, and it's tremendously exciting.

Can I make a number of announcements and updates, and then happy to take questions. First of all, as has already been announced by statement earlier today, 85 million doses for boosters for 2022 and 2023 have been secured in a new contract put together with Pfizer. That’s 60 million for boosters next year in 2022 and 25 million for the year after. This is in addition, of course, to the 40 million doses that are doing the job of the vaccination this year, combined with our AstraZeneca vaccines, which have been produced here within Australia, and the 10 million Moderna vaccines that come on stream from September of this year. There is, of course, the 51 million of Novavax, which is also pre-ordered, as well.

Now, once we achieve that broad vaccination of the population and once we're able to proceed through the four stage plan that I updated you on on Friday, then we must be able to maintain them and the advice at present is that is likely to require booster shots, and to be able to have those booster shots pre-ordered by contract now means that we can go into 2022 with confidence, and beyond, ensuring that we're able to address those needs, future proofing so we can live with COVID-19 going forward. The securing of those 85 million doses is a, is another important development. It's another shot in the arm for Australians in the vaccination program. The vaccination program really starting to hit its marks now and beyond. We can go in next year with greater confidence. The supplies will be provided over the course of the year to meet any of those booster requirements, as we're advised to need to put in place.

Secondly, on the vaccine, a record Saturday yesterday, more than 100,000 doses delivered yesterday. That brings it to 11.14 million. We have 38 per cent of the population now that has had at least one dose, over 16 per cent now with two. Sixty two per cent of those over 50 have now had one dose and 22 per cent double doses. And, for those over 70, we've got 77 per cent of those over 70 have now had their first dose, and 37 per cent have had two doses. In the past just six days, we've been able to administer a million doses. So, we're now able to deliver those a million doses even under a seven-day period, and that is really hitting the marks that we'd hoped to be hitting with that rate of vaccination now. Certainly, we hoped to have higher overall levels of vaccination now, as I indicated earlier this week, but the vaccination rates we're achieving on a weekly and a daily basis are certainly the marks we’d hoped to be hitting by about this time of the year. And, that means we will continue to make up ground.

I want to welcome the updated ATAGI advice that was provided, and you became aware of that, that was on the 24th of July, and I just want to read it so it's very clear what ATAGI are saying. And, it relates especially to the New South Wales outbreak. All individuals aged 18 years and above in greater Sydney, including adults under 60 years of age, should strongly consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca. This is on the basis of the increasing risk of COVID-19 and ongoing constraints of Pfizer supplies. In addition, people in areas where outbreaks are occurring can receive the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine four to eight weeks after the first dose, rather than the usual 12 doses [sic], to bring forward optimal protection. And, so, having those vaccines is incredibly important. I welcome that advice. There are some 1.3 million AstraZeneca vaccines that are available. They’re in the fridge, they're ready to go, and we particularly need to see them getting into state-based distribution systems in New South Wales. The GPs in New South Wales have been doing a terrific job. They've been doing all the heavy lifting on AstraZeneca, especially in New South Wales, and they'll soon be joined by the pharmacists as well, so we can start lifting those vaccination rates even further.

There have been some enquiries regarding the availability and supply of New South Wales vaccines, especially in relation to Pfizer. So, let me clarify the situation. On the week commencing 5th of July, which is the week in which the Premier contacted me, New South Wales - both GPs and the state distribution centres - were receiving 147,720 doses of Pfizer per week. The week commencing next week, they will be receiving 90,000 more than that, 90,000 more than that. That does not include the additional 50,000, which I extended to the Premier on Friday, or the additional 150,000 they've already received over and above their previous allocations. Their allocations going forward into this next week is 90,000 more Pfizer each week than it was back in the week commencing the 5th of July, and in the week following, it goes up to 110,000 above what it was back in the beginning of July and the week commencing the 5th of July. So, that is a significant increase that we've seen since the early part of this month to where we are now. So, there was the 50,000 extra last Friday on top of allocations, there was the 150,000 additional that was provided after the Premier's call to me on the 5th of July, on the 7th of July. And, the Pfizer allocations now ramping up by a further 90,000 on what they were getting earlier, and that is predominantly being distributed through the GP network, which has been doing the lion's share of vaccinations all around the country.

I also want to note some progress on the Federal Government supports regarding income support payments, especially to New South Wales - $331 million has now been paid out in New South Wales in income support payments, of the $600 and the $375 and the earlier payments since the lockdown began, and that is some 660,000 grants that Service Australia had been able to process in that time, and has supported 394,000 individuals across New South Wales. Now, that is quite a herculean effort by Services Australia to get that much money out the door that fast, at the JobKeeper rates of December quarter last year, and getting those payments right across the board to those who've lost their hours.

Now, we anticipate, based on the current registrations for the scheme, and this may increase, that that will mean that the Federal Government will be providing income support into New South Wales at a rate of $220 million every single week to support those income support payments. Ninety seven per cent of that is actually in the Greater Sydney area. So, Greater Sydney, New South Wales more broadly, is receiving, will be receiving some $220 million ongoing each and every week to help them through this lockdown, to support the lockdown by ensuring people stay at home.

Now, in addition to that, you're already aware that the Commonwealth Government has committed some quarter of a billion dollars a week to support the 50-50 business support program, which is being administered by the New South Wales Government. So, that puts us in the vicinity of half a billion dollars a week from the Commonwealth Government to be supporting and backing in the New South Wales Government in both income support and business support to get through this crisis.

In Victoria, I can tell you that since applications opened on Friday, 52,000 claims have so far been granted, just under $30 million is already out the door to support people across New, across Victoria. And, that has been paid since last Friday's applications, and processing continues today and we expect those numbers to rise further, and we’ll provide further updates to that end.

So, a golden day in the pool. In terms of vaccines, what we've seen is another record day yesterday, and in terms of support that is needed in New South Wales, continuing to deliver that support for as long as this lockdown takes, because that is the primary method by which we will be able to get this latest outbreak under control.

Finally, let me just say I extend my commiserations and sympathies to those families of the two individuals that have lost their lives to COVID. Every single time that occurs, it is a terrible tragedy. And, that's why I urge people to go and get that AstraZeneca vaccine, get the Pfizer vaccine, and ensure that we continue to meet these marks and protect the population.

Journalist: So, the extra 50,000 Pfizer doses that you found for New South Wales, can you tell us where has that come from? Is there a federal contingency? And, if so, how much is in that contingency? And, just secondly, we've accessed COVAX, the facility before, to get more Pfizer. Is that another option that you're considering to get more doses here?

Prime Minister: Well, on the latter point, we're always maximising every possible channel to get as many vaccines as we can, particularly in the next few months. Once we get into September, then the supplies are significantly greater than they are now. But, let's not forget, there are now a million Pfizers turning up every week, a million Pfizer doses now turning up every week, which is what has enabled us to be able to lift the levels of supply that are going into all states and territories, but particularly New South Wales. There are small variations in supply and delivery, which from time to time may ensure that there's tens of thousands of doses that might be free at any given time. That is a simple supply and demand issue. It is not a contingency. We are distributing as far as we possibly can every single dose we have, every single dose we have. And, and that's what we've been doing here. We had planned to increase the dosages going out to all states and territories, including New South Wales. So, there is that 90,000 extra from this week coming that is going into New South Wales. And, in addition to that, there is the 200,000 additional doses that have been made available to them over the course of this month.

Journalist: Prime Minister, the New South Wales Treasurer has warned today that people are in danger of falling through the cracks, particularly those on income support who aren't eligible for the COVID Disaster Payments. There was a COVID Supplement in place last, in last, place last year. That's no longer the case. Is there any consideration of further financial support for people who don't qualify for these payments under consideration? 

Prime Minister: Well, the qualification for these payments is extremely broad. You can be a casual, you can be part time, you can be full time. It doesn't matter who you work for. It doesn't matter who owns the company. It doesn't matter what's happening to the national turnover of your company. The Treasurer made a very good point today - under JobKeeper there would be people in New South Wales who wouldn't be getting these payments because their overall turnover of the company, which operates across many borders, would have seen them not be eligible. What the process we're doing is we've cut out the, the middle person on this and we're making payments direct. If you've lost those hours and you're not receiving other social security benefits, and those social security benefits are scaled to your income. So, if your other income has fallen back, then the income you get through JobSeeker and things like that scales up. Now, these arrangements have been designed to deal with the problem we have right now. And, the problem we have right now is in specific states, in specific locations, and we need to be able to get it out quickly and switch it on quickly. And, so, that's what this is delivering. And, it's delivering those supports and payments far quicker than, in fact, we were able to achieve under JobKeeper. And, that's very important when you're facing a lockdown of an indeterminate length. Now, I'm, I welcome the fact that the situation in Victoria and in South Australia seems to be improving to expectations. And, we'll wait to see what further announcements are made by the premiers there. But, in New South Wales, as I said, half a billion dollars a week, half a billion. And, and the Treasurer and I and the rest of the Cabinet are very open to consider how we deal with this situation as it further evolves. That's always been the approach my Government has taken. We've always kept our minds open and tried to address the need that is there, and that's what we'll continue to do. But, the COVID Disaster Payments, they're faster, they're direct, and you get them when you need them. Had we been working under the other arrangements, people would have been waiting some time before they were able to get that support. So, it's been a very effective mechanism, as the numbers that I've outlined to you, I think, demonstrate.

Journalist: Prime Minister, on your, on the anti-lockdown protests yesterday, your Coalition colleague George Christensen promoted and was at one of them in Queensland. Former Coalition colleague Craig Kelly supported these lockdowns, these protests, I'm sorry. What would be your message to those people who went to these protests yesterday? And, is there any explanation, any excuse for a federal politician to support these sort of demonstrations?

Prime Minister: Well, I’ll deal with the second issue later, in a second, let me deal with what we saw in Sydney yesterday. Of course, it was selfish. It was also self-defeating. It achieves no purpose. It will not end the lockdown sooner, it will only risk the lockdowns running further. Now, there was 100,000 people who went and did the right thing yesterday and got tested in New South Wales. There were 40,000 people who went and got vaccinated, both at state and GP-based distribution points of presence. There were millions of Sydneysiders who stayed home. They're the ones who are bringing an end to the lockdown sooner, not those who are putting themselves at risk, those around them at risk, particularly the police at risk. And, that was a very selfish act. And, I think it offended many, many fellow Sydneysiders. People understand there are frustrations with lockdowns, but that type of behaviour doesn't help anybody. Selfish behaviour doesn't help anybody. And, so, in a city under lockdown, to engage in that was reckless and it was selfish.

Now, as for other parts of the country that aren't in lockdown, well, there is such a thing as free speech, and I'm not about to be imposing those sorts of restrictions on people's free speech. In Queensland, there are not lockdowns, and the nature of that event, to the best of my knowledge, that, the one you referred to, was very different to the event that was in New South Wales. And, I think to draw a comparison between the two, I think would be, would be not be accurate. So, and in terms of other members who are not in my Party Room, they can explain their own actions.

Journalist: On the changing ATAGI advice, can you please clarify something for me?

Prime Minister: Yep.

Journalist: Will giving the AstraZeneca jab to anyone over the age of 18 still be at the discretion of the GPs in Sydney? We are seeing reports over time that doctors are not giving it out to adults under 40 that are still consenting to getting that jab. Does this change that? 

Prime Minister: Well, I certainly hope that the GPs would be very mindful of the ATAGI advice, and I think they've been a lot clearer, which is very welcome, about the nature of the risk in New South Wales and in Greater Sydney, in particular. And, I'm sure that medical professionals would be very conscious, I think, of the advice that has been provided by ATAGI. At the end of the day, it's the individual who makes the choice and provides the informed consent. And, that individual should feel free to go to another general practitioner. And, I hope that we can now see more AstraZeneca vaccines are made available in the state-based clinics in New South Wales, so they might be able to go and get that opportunity there, which has been very constrained over, over recent months. GPs have been the ones delivering AstraZeneca. And, so, I'm looking forward to seeing, particularly with the comments of the Premier and and the Chief Health Officer in New South Wales, a much greater distribution of AstraZeneca through those state-based clinics.

Journalist: The New South Wales Premier I'm sure is well aware of those numbers you've outlined in terms of vaccines going to her state. She still wants other states to provide more Pfizer or do more for her state. How much worse do things need to get in Sydney, south western Sydney in particular, before you're willing to say we need to rush vaccines there? 

Prime Minister: Well, there's a presumption in the question, and that is about how this lockdown comes to an end. The lockdown comes to an end by the lockdown effectively working. There's not an easy way to bring these cases down. And, it's the lockdown that does that work. The vaccines can provide some assistance, but they are not going to end this lockdown. What's going to end this lockdown is it being effective, and it being effectively put in place and complied with. That's the experience from the other states and territories. What we have is increasing rates of Pfizer supplies and AstraZeneca that is available to all states and territories, including in New South Wales. As I've said, there'll be, by the week commencing the 2nd of August, 100,000 more Pfizer vaccines going into New South Wales every week, and 90,000 more from this week. And, on top of that, 200,000 has already been provided to support those efforts. So, I think that is a very significant increase in those supplies. But, the national vaccine program must work right across the country, and we cannot disrupt its implementation around the country, which will put other parts of the country at risk. And, so, the suggestion that that could be done, and people's appointments in Melbourne would be cancelled for appointments to be created in another part of the city, sorry the other part of the country, would be very disruptive. It would, it would interrupt the rhythm of the national vaccine program, which is hitting these marks now, where we most recently had a million doses in just six days. So, I don't share the view that this is somehow a competition between states on this. I actually don't share that. I think the national vaccine program all around the country, from Cairns down to Tassie and over to Western Australia, it needs to maintain its momentum, and that means you don't go and disrupt it. We are getting more into New South Wales, as I've said, significant quantities, but we need to make sure the rest of the country maintains the pace, because the Delta variant can present these circumstances in any state and territory in the country. No other state or territory has some, has some special immunity to the Delta variant. And, so, we want to maintain the pace of those vaccine programs right across the country. And, of course, accelerated as best we can in New South Wales. But, the way the lockdown ends is the lockdown being effective. Laura.

Journalist: Prime Minister, don't the way the numbers are …

Prime Minister: I can't quite hear you.

Journalist: Don't the way the numbers are unfolding suggest that the lockdown isn't being effective? Does it need to be harder? Does the Government in New South Wales have to rethink things? And, if we've got this situation where there's an expectation that New, Victoria and South Australia could come out of the lockdown, but we're looking at months in New South Wales, once we're clear on those other states, the Federal Government will actually have to provide something more than just emergency measures? I understand what you're saying about it being, you know, short term, getting the money out the door, but you're looking at a fairly significant economic crisis in New South Wales over months.

Prime Minister: Yeah, well, that's true, and that's why we’ll be pumping half a billion dollars into New South Wales every week, especially for as long as the lockdown continues. But, any sort of further impacts of that then, obviously, we’ll work those through. I mean, this is the Government that delivered the single largest measure of economic support the country has ever seen, based on the need of the economy and the Australian people. And, that main, that is our view now. And, we will continue to do what is necessary to ensure the, the recovery of our economy, to get to the other side of this when the lockdowns are lifted. And, so, the Treasurer and I and the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet, we meet regularly, we met this week. We will continue to work through contingency options and prepare ourselves for whatever set of circumstances may present. So, we'll keep doing that.

On the second point, or the first point you raised, that is principally a matter for the New South Wales Government. I’ll be talking to the Premier again later today, but there isn't an alternative to the lockdown. Let me be clear. There is not an alternative to the lockdown in New South Wales to get this under control. There is no other magic bullet that is going to do that. There is no vaccine solution that's going to do that. The lockdown is what is going to do it. It can be assisted by the vaccines, but the lockdown must be effective. The alternative does not bear thinking. And, so, it's essential that every, every effort is focused on making sure that lockdown does its job.

Journalist: You have made the commitment a while ago that you want every Australian to be offered a vaccine by the end of this year …

Prime Minister: Should they want one, yeah.

Journalist: Should they want one. A lot has happened since then. Do you still stand by that commitment? And, when do you expect the newer age group, the 12 to 15s, to be able to, to get their vaccine?

Prime Minister: Yeah, that absolutely remains our goal by the end of the year, and we have the supplies to achieve that. And, as the distribution and the dosage is demonstrating now, with a million in just six days now, then that is absolutely achievable. It really is over to everybody else as well now, to make sure people go and get those vaccines. And, as that supply continues to mount, as we're seeing right now, then those opportunities will see those vaccination rates rise, as we have seen in other countries at this phase of their vaccination program.

In relation to 12 to 15-year-olds, as the TGA provided that approval, ATAGI is now assessing that situation and will be providing us further information in mid-August, I understand. And, the application of vaccines to those age groups is something we need to carefully consider, both in its application and whether that relates to more vulnerable children with other conditions and things of that nature. That's a first point which ATAGI is considering, and also what we discussed on Friday with the premiers that should we go forward, depending on what the ATAGI advice is, then we would seek to be doing that in the most effective way we can and have our states to be looking at school-based systems for delivering that. Timing of that yet to be determined. And, the Commonwealth is similarly looking at ways that that can be achieved, and that's been incorporated in Lieutenant General Frewen’s planning. So, there is a few, few more pieces of information that need to fall into place, I think, before we're able to give a definitive answer on that. But, I can assure you that both the planning and the consideration of the medical issues are very high on our, on our agenda. The National Security Committee of Cabinet this week also considered this issue at some length about how we might respond. And, but those responses will depend on that next information that I’ve mentioned.

Journalist: Just, just back to Trudy's question about the New South Wales Premier wanting the other states to handover doses. Daniel Andrews said today that if New South Wales could produce modelling that would show that extra doses into south western Sydney would make a difference, he'd be happy to have that conversation. Do you have that same view? And, is it your view about you saying vaccines don't make any, would not make much of a difference now, is that based on the health advice from the Government's advisers?

Prime Minister: Well, I'm always acting having listened to the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and, and the Secretary of the Department of Health. That's why I'm saying it can assist, of course it can assist. People getting vaccinated can assist, but I wouldn't want it to be in anyone's mind that it replaces the principal tool, which is the lockdown. It's not a substitute for a lockdown. And, you need to weigh up the effectiveness of that with the disruption to the broader national vaccine program that could set other states and territories back some way in meeting their vaccination targets. We need to get the whole country vaccinated and those that are going through lockdowns, well, that is the principal way by which we're able to seek to bring the Delta variant under control in those cities. So, I'm not necessarily responding directly to what Premier Andrews said. He made similar comments on Friday. So, it's not that people aren't open to it, but when you're, when you're looking at the potential disruption of the national program more broadly, when these objectives can be addressed through the mechanisms we are using. I mean, it wasn't just the additional doses that are going through to New South Wales. And, I stress, for AstraZeneca, not just Pfizer. ATAGI has said, go and consider that and please do it promptly, because that's what is necessary to try and address that. So, there's no shortage of AstraZeneca being there to be able to support that vaccination effort, and there's additional Pfizer support to address that effort. So, that's the balance of the discussion. I thought it was a very constructive discussion. There's a, there's a preparedness, but keeping the national vaccination program on track is incredibly important.

The other thing we did was move the three week out to six week for Pfizer second doses, which means that New South Wales can do more first doses now to up that level of immediate protection that is available. So, there were responses on Friday. There was good discussion on Friday. There are more doses in New South Wales of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca. And, I can tell you there's a truckload of financial support going in from the Commonwealth as well.

Journalist: On ATAGI, Prime Minister, will you now lobby the ATAGI to broaden its Sydney AstraZeneca advice to the whole of the country, considering that, you know, a woman has tragically died in her 30s with no pre-existing conditions, as people without any vaccines under 30 and these Delta outbreaks can happen anywhere in the country?

Prime Minister: Well, I'm, I'm quite confident that ATAGI will continue to assess their advice based on the balance of risk that they've articulated.

Journalist: George Christensen’s Facebook post, Prime Minister, George Christensen said in his Facebook post, “Civil disobedience eventually becomes the only response to laws that restrict freedom. This is what we've seen in Melbourne today.” And, he quotes Martin Luther King that, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” How can you stand there and seriously suggest that your Government MP wasn't encouraging a breach of public health orders in other states?

Prime Minister: Well, the comments I made before related to an event that took place in Queensland where there are no lockdowns. And, I have, I don't support any suggestion that would suggest that people should gather as they did in Sydney yesterday, whatsoever.

Journalist: Just further on the change to the ATAGI advice, it's similar to Richard's question, but the, their advice is, as you’ve said today, strongly consider.

Prime Minister: Yes.

Journalist: Now, that’s not, still not telling people go and have this vaccine. Do you think ATAGI could strengthen that further or give people more information to help them make that consideration? Or, is it on yourself ...

Prime Minister: I think Australians get the point of what ATAGI has said, and I think Australians understand, particularly in Greater Sydney, the challenges that they now face. And, I think ATAGI have been very clear about the importance of them going and strongly considering those options. And, and I suggest that they strongly consider that. 

Journalist: Prime Minister, on these booster doses, on these booster doses, when do you expect them to arrive in Australia, and when do you expect them to begin rolling out? And, when are we going to be faced with needing booster doses?

Prime Minister: Well, they’ll begin rolling out from the beginning of next year. They'll be available from the beginning of next year, and the supply goes throughout the year. As yet, we don't have definitive advice about the timing of booster doses, just like last year, we didn’t have definitive advice about the efficacy of any vaccines. So, this is prudent future proofing that we’ve put in place here. And, so, we'll be guided, I think, by the science and the evidence that is emerging about when second doses are necessary. I believe, I think it's only Israel at this point that has, is about to sort of contemplate going into booster shots. Just so happens that Australia will have administered as many vaccines as the state of Israel within a few days, as they've done, and, you know, obviously a much smaller population. So, we will continue to watch carefully that, that advice and that evidence. With so many countries now in different phases of this, this pandemic and confronted with different challenges, the sharing of this information is incredibly important. So, there's nothing definitively yet. But, I can tell you, when it's needed, it'll be there. And, that's why today's announcement is so important.

Journalist: Do you think there’s been a lot of brand damage done to AstraZeneca that, sadly, some people are just too afraid to go out and get it, and is ATAGI partly responsible for that?

Prime Minister: Oh, look, undoubtedly the events of the past few months have caused some hesitation and needlessly, needlessly. This is an effective vaccine that can help save people's lives. We saw it save countless number of lives in the United Kingdom, and it will save lives here, too, in Australia. There's no doubt about that. So, the good news is that its medical potency hasn't changed. Comments about brand, well, that doesn't make it less effective, medically, scientifically. It's a, it's a powerful vaccine that helped save lives. And, as ATAGI has said, people should be strongly considering going and doing that, together with the other vaccines that are there. And, it's just important we get these jabs in arms as, as quickly as we possibly can.

Journalist: Prime Minister, one more on the booster, if I could. The World Health Organization has spoken in the last little while about wealthier countries talking about third doses, whereas, you know, poorer countries are still waiting potentially for their first one. WHO has said, you know, wealthier countries should be looking to donate more doses to the developing world. I know, obviously, we're contributing a lot through COVAX and through [inaudible] and the Pacific and that sort of thing, but in light of that, do you think there is maybe more of a case for us now having secured all these millions and millions of doses, once we’ve figured out our second doses, to start then adding more to those developing parts of the world?

Prime Minister: Well, look, I thank you for your question and it absolutely enables us to do this. Eighty five million doses, 60 million next year. That is more than enough, many times over, for us, particularly for single dose booster shots, and this will equip us, I think, to lean in even further to the support we're providing to our Pacific family. I just spoke to the new Prime Minister of Samoa yesterday and congratulated her and we talked about this very issue, and there are more doses of AstraZeneca turning up in Samoa this week. I think it's some 30,000 this week are turning up there in Samoa. In Fiji, half a million doses, actually more than that. Across the Pacific, almost a million doses are there supporting that effort. But, this means that it enables us to meet our commitments that I have made through the Quad, through the G20 as well, and the direct commitments we have made, and of course, our COVAX commitments, so, the countries of our region know that Australia is seeking to stand by them as best as we possibly can. And, that is no more so the case than with our Pacific family, and we're not just sending them doses, we've got teams there helping them, training them to distribute it and plan, and do all of those things as well. We've got a Medevac team which is over in Fiji even as we speak.

Journalist: Do people under 40 still need to see a GP before agreeing to have the AstraZeneca, and do GPs have sufficient information about the latest advice?

Prime Minister: Well, it should be clear - they can see a GP. It was never a requirement for them to see a GP. We provided through Medicare the opportunity for them to do that, and to do so at no cost to them. But, whether you go to a pharmacist and get your AstraZeneca, your GP, and hopefully more so in New South Wales state clinics, your AstraZeneca there, it's informed consent and it's up to all of us. We have responsibility for our own health and to be able to take what advice we think is necessary for us to form our own view about what's best for us and, and be able to give that informed consent. Great. Last one. 

Journalist: Prime Minister, you said in your speech this morning we may not get every decision right. Are there any decisions you made in relation to the vaccine rollout that you believe you didn't get right? And, if so, how would you do things differently?

Prime Minister: I'm sure there'll be plenty of critics who will be able to help you write those up in the history books. What matters is what we do now. That's what matters now. And, we've been able to make up ground significantly over the last few months. And, when I saw today that we were able to do a million doses in six days, then that tells me we've turned this around and we're on the right track. So, now, we've all got our part to play. I know lockdowns are incredibly debilitating. They're frustrating. And, you, and you feel powerless when you're in one of those lockdowns. What can I do about this situation? I get that. What you can do about it is you can get vaccinated. What you can do about it is you can stay home. What you can do about it is you get tested if you’ve showing any sort of symptoms or you're subject to a testing order because of a close contact or something of that nature. That's what you can do about it. That's what you can do about it every day, and every day we do that is a day closer to where we want to be. Thank you all very much. And, congratulations to our gold medallists, our golden girls, the queens of the pool, and we look forward to more of that to come. Thank you all very much.

[Ends]