Previously, the prime minister had set a target that all Australians would receive their first dose by October. The government also aimed for 4 million doses by the end of March, but this was later revised to the end of April, and we are behind both targets.
AAP reports that approximately 1.1 million doses have been administered, but Morrison has refused to set a target for the rollout.
“The government has … not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses,” he said.
“While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved.”
Late last week, the rollout was further delayed with the recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) that Pfizer was prefered to AstraZeneca for people under 50 due to the risk of rare blood clots.
Australia has a contract for 20m doses of Pfizer, but not all of it has arrived – and recently announced a further 20m will arrive, but not before the final quarter of the year.
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Ben Roberts-Smith to continue in Seven Network job
Last night Nine’s 60 Minutes and Nine Newspapers published a series of joint reports about the former Victoria Cross recipient – who is suing Nine and reporter Nick McKenzie for defamation.
“Mr Roberts-Smith denies that he has engaged in any unlawful conduct and he will not be intimidated by Mr McKenzie or Nine into not continuing with the Federal Court proceedings against them,” the statement said.
Roberts-Smith will continue as Seven’s Queensland managing director, the channel said:
Insofar as most of the material aired is old, Seven notes that it is before the federal court and the court process should be respected. Insofar as new allegations are made they do not appear to be supported by evidence.
In the circumstances Seven does not need to reconsider its position concerning Mr Roberts Smith and him continuing in his position.
Good morning everyone, and welcome back to our Australian news live blog. It’s Monday, and it’s Naaman Zhou here with you.
The Seven Network has issued a statement that it will not stand down former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith after a piece aired last night on Nine’s 60 Minutes and published in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age.
“Seven Network notes the denial by its Seven Queensland Managing Director Ben Roberts Smith VC of the allegations aired by Nine on 60 Minutes last night and as further published in the Nine newspapers,” the channel said.
“As most of the material aired is old, Seven notes that it is before the Federal Court and the court process should be respected. Insofar as new allegations are made they do not appear to be supported by evidence.”
Elsewhere, Scott Morrison has said the government will no longer set any date target for vaccinations after the pace of our rollout was thrown further into uncertainty last week.