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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for Australia’s slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout while touting the country’s “historic record” of coronavirus jabs.

Speaking to the media at The Lodge today, Mr Morrison reiterated he took responsibility for the country’s vaccination rate lagging behind due to ongoing supply challenges.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is responsible for the struggles in the vaccine rollout. (Nine)

“As I said yesterday, I take responsibility for the vaccination program,” he said.

“I also take responsibility for the challenges we’ve had.

“Obviously some things within our control, some things that are not.

“I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year.

“But what’s more important is that we’re totally focused on ensuring that we’ve been turning this around.”

Mr Morrison has repeatedly come under fire for the country’s snail-paced vaccine rollout and attempted to defend himself today by explaining “no prime minister” was perfect.

“No country gets everything right, no prime minister gets everything right as well,” he said.

A total of 184,000 vaccines were administered across the country yesterday.

A medical worker prepares a syringe of the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
Scott Morrison has apologised for setbacks in Australia’s vaccine rollout. (AP)

“That is the equivalent per head of population of 2.36 million doses in the United States a day or 481,000 in the United Kingdom,” Mr Morrison said.

“We are really hitting these marks now.”

He described the primary care model as the “workhorse of the vaccination program”, revealing double-dose vaccination rates had almost tripled in the past month.

Thirty-six per cent of Australians over 15 have received their first dose.

The prime minister called for Australians to come forward to get their vaccines if they were eligible.

“The vaccines mean that you’re less likely to get COVID,” he said.

“You’re less likely to transmit COVID.

“You’re less likely to get serious illness from COVID and you’re less likely to die from COVID.”

Mr Morrison said it was “deeply distressing” that the recent fatalities from coronavirus were unvaccinated Australians.

“The vaccine has been available to over-70s for many months,” he said.

“We need to work harder to get the vaccines particularly to our most vulnerable in the community.”

He said it was “absolutely vital” for seniors to come forward for their vaccines, especially in the Sydney area.

“If the COVID breakout in New South Wales and in Sydney, in particular, were to extend beyond where it is, that will, of course, put older people in the community at great risk,” Mr Morrison said.

“That risk is accelerating.”

Vaccinations to ramp up at pharmacies

The number of pharmacies administering coronavirus vaccinations will triple by the end of the month.

The pharmacies will be disproportionately in rural areas, but also in Sydney coronavirus hotspots.

“From next Monday, all community pharmacies across the country will be eligible to request participation in administering AstraZeneca vaccinations to the Australian population,” Mr Morrison said.

“We expect to see them commencing their vaccinations in mid-August.”

All remaining GPs who wish to participate in the vaccination program can do so from Monday.

Source: 9News

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