Dan Andrews had no prior warning a shipment of 400,000 vaccine doses was heading to Victoria, prompting a very sassy response to the PM.
The Victorian Premier said he only learned about a shipment of extra coronavirus jabs headed for his state from a journalist – after the Prime Minister announced the news earlier on Sunday.
Scott Morrison told reporters shortly after 11am Victoria would get 400,000 vaccine doses – including both Moderna and Pfizer jabs – this month as part of a “blitz” to help stem the state’s Delta outbreak.
Daniel Andrews was holding a simultaneous press conference and was told about the shipment by a reporter.
He was asked if he had been given a “heads up” by the Prime minister.
“No,” Mr Andrews responded, before adding: “Maybe while I’ve been talking to you there was a missed call on my phone.”
The Premier said the announcement was “fantastic news”.
“I’m delighted to know that … That’s fantastic news. Let’s get them into arms, that’s what I’m about.
“And maybe if they’d been ordered last year, they’d be in arms already.”
Mr Morrison said on Sunday there would be an additional one million Moderna doses coming to Australia from the European Union.
He said the additional doses would be shared across the nation, but would also play a role in “providing additional support for Victoria”.
Now, Victoria is currently dealing with a continued surge in cases, just like we saw in New South Wales some time ago, and later today the Minister for Health and General Frewen will stand up and outline the arrangements for a surge of mRNA vaccine support for Victoria as they deal with the outbreak,” he said.
“Residents in particular in Melbourne’s north and west will benefit from additional vaccines and a rapid expansion of vaccination sites across the region as part of a 3-week vaccination blitz in Victoria.
“Minister Hunt and I have agreed that the Commonwealth will surge more than 400,000 additional doses of Pfizer and Moderna in Victoria over the course of September.”
The extra Moderna vials were surplus doses originally destined for Spain, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Bulgaria.
They were secured by Australian diplomats working closely with counterparts at the European Commission and in Sweden and Norway, the Prime Minister’s office said in a press release.
“I want to thank Moderna for their support to these arrangements, as well as Norway and Sweden who have helped facilitate this deal over the course of these last few weeks,” Mr Morrison told reporters.
While the ATAGI advice says children as young as 12 can begin rolling up their sleeves for Moderna jabs as soon as Monday, the European delivery won’t arrive at pharmacies for another few weeks.
Mr Andrews has previously criticised the federal government for allegedly prioritising NSW for coronavirus doses while both states have experienced surges in coronavirus cases.
Originally published as Victorian Premier blindsided by Prime Minister’s news of extra vaccine doses for the state
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