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Mass vaccination before international visitors 'the biggest load of rubbish' : Berejiklian

NSW Premier Berejiklian (right) with WA Premier McGowan (left)

The federal health minister's claim that Australia's international borders may not re-open even if the entire population is vaccinated is "the biggest load of rubbish I ever heard", the NSW premier says.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt cautioned last Tuesday that international borders could stay closed even if every Australian was vaccinated.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday:

"That's the biggest load of rubbish I ever heard."
"The vaccination program will change our lives. The vaccination program will allow us to live with COVID in a better way."

Asked if she had communicated her views on Mr Hunt's statement to the prime minister, the premier responded “That’s a private matter for me."

Ms Berejiklian's government has urged a more flexible rollout, particularly bringing forward vaccination for people over 50.

The Premier noted that 2.9 million of 6 million NSW adults are over 50.

Current health advice prefers that Australians under 50 receive the Pfizer vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine, due to blood clotting risks.

Ms Berejiklian also waved away concerns that a positive test for an Auckland airport worker could burst the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

A manageable "case or two" should not impede the opening up of borders, she said.

A "managed outbreak should be dealt with and life moves on."

NSW vaccinated 3881 people in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, bringing the total number jabbed to 177,733.

Three new cases were diagnosed in hotel quarantine in that same period. No further transmission has been identified, NSW Health.

One COVID-19 patient continues to be treated in intensive care.

-- with AAP


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