NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her health department is in discussions with its federal counterpart on playing a larger role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
The state recorded zero new local COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, as well as five cases in travellers in hotel quarantine.
No new cases were on Friday identified in connection with a Sydney hotel security guard last weekend confirmed as virus-positive. His case is genomically linked to two returned travellers.
The guard’s close and household contacts have all tested negative so far.
Ms Berejiklian on Thursday lamented the problems facing Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, saying it may prove too slow.
Almost 400,000 Australians have visited a website to check their eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine but thousands were unable to access the site and GPs have been inundated with patients trying to book jabs.
NSW Health has already vaccinated almost 45,000 people.
Ms Berejiklian on Friday told reporters NSW Health was in contact with the federal government regarding a larger role in the vaccination program.
The federal government is meant to take full control of the vaccination effort after phase 1b concludes but Ms Berejiklian wanted NSW to stay involved.
The premier said this would help relieve pressure on the GP network.
“I’ve said from the outset that if we are serious about vaccinating six million people in NSW by the end of October, we need all hands on deck,” she said.
“At the moment (vaccine) supply is at a manageable rate but we’ll come to a point when the local vaccine is produced, we’ll have lots of doses and the challenge for us will be to get it out in an efficient and quick way.”
Phase 1b of the vaccination rollout begins on Monday and includes people aged over 70, Indigenous Australians over 55, younger adults with a medical condition or disability and workers deemed at critical or high risk.
The phase incorporates more than six million Australians.
It comes after Australian officials on Friday welcomed the European medical regulator’s decision to give the AstraZeneca vaccine the green light.
A review by European Medicines Agency detected no link between the jab and an increased risk of blood clots.
Australian Associated Press