The Australian government has administered a little more than 670,000 vaccines as of Wednesday, 16.7 per cent of its target number in March since the rollout began in February.
The government initially promised that 4 million people would receive Covid-19 vaccines by the end of March.
Leaders of Queensland and New South Wales on Wednesday slammed the rollout after Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, entered a lockdown to contain an outbreak of Covid-19 that started among healthcare workers who are eligible for vaccines.
In response, Health Minister Greg Hunt promised that the rollout was starting to accelerate with a record 72,826 doses administered on Tuesday.
“What we are seeing is very significant progress,” he told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “In particular, as well, I’m pleased that we’ve now reached over 99,000 people in aged care.”
He said that he was “thankful for the work of all of the states and territories” amid significant delays to the rollout.
“We have confidence in all of the states and territories,” Hunt said. “They are all managing their programs as they best see fit, and they are working towards making sure that all of those vaccines are used.”
Australia has recorded a total of 29,304 cases of coronavirus and 909 deaths.