General practitioners and pharmacists will receive an additional $ 10 per injection

GPs and pharmacists will receive an additional $ 10 for each booster injection as part of additional funding of $ 120 million as the latest vaccine deployment in Australia intensifies.

The package aims to give general practitioners and pharmacies more flexibility to manage vaccination clinics and ensure they have sufficient staff. It also includes free rapid antigen testing for residential care facilities for the elderly.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said it is important for the country to respond to the demand for recalls, with millions of people becoming eligible after a quarter of state and territory-run immunization centers are closed.

“This is an added incentive to keep the primary care system delivering vaccines at as high a capacity as possible,” he said.

General practitioners are currently paid between $ 65 and $ 75 to deliver a client with two jabs.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said the additional funding would help general practitioners and pharmacies increase the number of booster doses given.

“This will allow general practitioners to reach patients, run larger clinics and organize more immunization sessions to meet demand,” he said.

But the president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Karen Price, approached the announcement with caution.

She said practices are under the pump and will soon face the challenge of vaccinating children between the ages of five and 11.

“I want to stress that this is not a panacea; it will not solve all the problems we face, ”she said.

“I will always welcome more support for general medicine, but we have to remember that many practices operate on very thin margins and some are actually losing money on vaccine deployment.”

More than half of Australians eligible for the booster have received their third COVID-19 vaccine.

About 200,000 doses go into guns every day, of which about three in four of these injections are boosters.

But the Prime Minister wants to see this increase to more than two million doses per week at the start of the new year.

Vaccine deployment chief Lt. Gen. John Frewen said there was enough supply to cover Australians until the end of April 2022.

Meanwhile, the national cabinet was told by health experts on Wednesday that wearing the mask was “strongly recommended”, but Mr Morrison has ruled out any warrant.

“Australians are common sense people and they know what to do to protect their own health,” he said.

“Mandates require application and that requires resources. “

The national cabinet also discussed shortening the time frame for booster injections and an updated definition of fully immunized from two doses to three, but no decision has been made on either of these. elements.

State and territory leaders will be notified again in two weeks on whether travel tests are necessary, with travelers accounting for a quarter of the test requirements, extending wait times.

Morrison said one in a thousand people tested for travel tested positive, compared to 17 to 20 people per thousand tests on close contacts and people with symptoms.

“It gives you an idea of ​​where the resources are best applied,” he said.

The national cabinet will also receive a standard definition of casual contact when it meets again in the new year.

“There’s even an argument that says there should be no requirement to have a definition of casual contact,” Mr. Morrison said.

The national cabinet’s announcements followed an increase in the number of daily infections in New South Wales, which recorded 3,763 new cases and two more deaths.

Victoria recorded 1,503 new cases and six more deaths.

Queensland and ACT both recorded daily case levels of 186 and 58, respectively. Tasmania has recorded 12 more cases.

South Australia has registered 198 new infections.

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