The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response and the Australian COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy.
National Cabinet continues to work together to address issues and find solutions to the health and economic consequences of COVID-19.
The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, provided an update on the latest epidemiological data and medical advice in relation to COVID-19. There have been 29,390 confirmed cases in Australia and, sadly, 909 people have died. More than 16 million tests have been undertaken in Australia.
To date Australia’s existing systems built around social distancing, testing, tracing, local health responses and quarantine have effectively mitigated the broader spread of COVID-19 virus and new variants of COVID-19 into the Australian community. COVID-19 vaccines will further strengthen Australia’s ability to control the virus.
Australia has done well on both the health and economic fronts compared to most countries around the world. National Cabinet noted the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in many countries and the comparative strength of Australia’s effort in addressing COVID compared to most other developed economies.
Globally there have been over 133 million cases and sadly over 2.9 million deaths, with around 816,000 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out is expanding. To date 1,077,511 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Australians, including 81,297 in the last 24 hours.
National Cabinet received a detailed update from Professor Brendan Murphy, Chair of the Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group, and the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly on the Australian Vaccination and Treatment Strategy and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advice on the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. National Cabinet agreed to continue the Australian Vaccination Strategy for 1A and 1B priority populations. National Cabinet agreed that the new ATAGI advice will require a recalibration of the Australian Vaccination Strategy for future phases, with changes worked through in consultation with states, territories and medical experts over the coming weeks.
The Commonwealth Government has allocated over $7 billion to support the COVID-19 vaccine strategy with contracts for over 170 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, through a diverse vaccine portfolio including the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax and through the COVAX facility.
National Cabinet welcomed the announcement of a two-way quarantine free travel arrangements with New Zealand. National Cabinet further reiterated support for the ongoing outbreaks in PNG and Timor Leste.
National Cabinet will meet again on Friday 7 May 2021.