COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout

Tuesday May 04, 2021

Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (16:17): My question is to the Premier. Can the Premier inform the house when the residents of the South-East will receive a COVID-19 vaccination hub similar to the one established at the Adelaide Showground and the ones planned for Elizabeth and Noarlunga in June this year?

The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL (Dunstan—Premier) (16:17): I thank the member for Mount Gambier for his question. As he would be aware, the Mount Gambier hospital has a Pfizer clinic at the moment and that was set up to administer people through phases 1a and 1b. To date, just having a look on the dashboard at the moment, there have been 2,339 first doses administered and 1,414 second doses administered.

By mid-May, a new community clinic will be set up, and I am advised that that will be at the Mount Gambier shopping centre, 21 Helen Street. That will ultimately replace the clinic at the hospital so that they can go back to their primary responsibility and will vaccinate up to 1,000 per week using the Pfizer vaccine, and of course GPs will be there to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine.

South Australia continues to do extraordinarily well in terms of the vaccine rollout. In fact, in terms of the statistics that were published yesterday by the commonwealth, South Australia has the highest mainland state run rate in terms of vaccination. You wouldn't know it if you listened to those opposite trying to undermine the very successful vaccine rollout. This is what we have become used to from the opposition—always trying to massively undermine the great work that the people in SA Health are doing in South Australia.

Mr Picton interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Kaurna!

The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL: Not content with trying to essentially sabotage the entire health system in South Australia when they were in government, now that they are in opposition they want to undermine those hardworking men and women who are on the frontline protecting the people of our state.

Mr Brown interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Playford!

The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL: What I can say is we are very proud that we have that highest vaccination run rate of any mainland state in the country, but there is more to come. We know that we now have the first mass vaccination clinic, which has been set up at the Wayville showground. It started its first administration of doses last week, then of course there's a further one down south and then one out north.

But Mount Gambier will begin in mid-May. It will be administering the Pfizer vaccine. What I can say is that, despite the very significant curve ball that was dealt to us here in Australia recently with the ATAGI advice—they are the expert advice, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation—the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe and effective for those over the age of 50. Because of the availability of both the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer vaccine in Australia, they provided the advice that those under 50 should have the Pfizer vaccine. That's the reason we will be setting up this clinic down in Mount Gambier of a thousand per week. That will be ready from the middle of May.

My strong message to the members in this house and to the people of South Australia is that the vaccination program is the next phase in our fight against the coronavirus. It's safe, it's effective, it's free and it's voluntary, but the simple fact of the matter is that, by taking this vaccine when you are eligible to have it, you will be protecting yourself, your family, your community, your workplace—in fact, you will be doing your part in keeping our entire state safe and therefore, of course, our economy strong.