Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

PRESS CONFERENCE - 17 MAY 2021

Premier Peter Gutwein

We’ve officially reached two important milestones today.

Firstly, it has been 12 months since Tasmania recorded a case of COVID-19 in our community, which is testament to the hard work of all Tasmanians.

Being in such a safe place, it’s easy to forget that COVID-19 still ravages the world and some countries -- obviously, some more than others -- have been impacted detrimentally.

It’s claimed more than 3.3 million lives.

It’s why we continue to ensure we have a risk-based approach here in Tasmania with strong safeguards in place. I want to thank Tasmanians for their efforts, because it’s been fantastic that they’ve worked with us through this.

Now, we know that getting vaccinated is a key safeguard, and over the weekend we’ve reached another milestone, with 100,000 doses of the COVID vaccine now administered to Tasmanians.

This has been a massive logistical exercise.

It’s a credit to all of those who have been involved to ensure that this has worked and, importantly, to the Tasmanians who’ve rolled up their sleeves and been vaccinated.

Thank you.

As a result, Tasmania is leading the way in Australia’s vaccination effort.

We now have 19% of our eligible state population having received their first vaccination, compared to the current national total of only 13%, so we are well in front of what’s occurring on the national level and, as I’ve said, that’s a credit to our Health Department and professionals.

We’re making real progress, but the program still has a way to go to reach everyone.

From today, there’ll be 93 Tasmanian GPs open to Tasmanians aged 50 years and over, meaning more people will be able to go to their GP for a vaccine.

This means that if you’re 50 years and over, you have three options to make a vaccination appointment, at a participating GP, a GP respiratory clinic or one of our Tasmanian Government community clinics.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll also have access to more Pfizer doses, allowing us to offer the vaccine in more locations around the state, not just in our city and hospital hubs.

There are appointments available across the State for everyone who is eligible, and I’d encourage you to call the Public Health hotline or visit the coronavirus website to find out where you can get your free vaccine.

A reminder that we have a coordinated rollout. Right now the priority continues to be those aged over 50 and those working in frontline health settings.

We will communicate with Tasmanians each phase of the rollout, as we work our way through.

I just want to once again thank Tasmanians. 100,000 vaccinations is a fantastic effort, leading this country in terms of the eligible population is a fantastic effort.

The other matter, as I touched on, the fact that we’ve now gone 12 months without a case of COVID in our community is something that should be celebrated.

So, thank you.

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