Australia news live: TGA mulls EU advice on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and clots; pharmacies oppose NSW mass vaccination plan

2 days ago 5

NSW to keep border open to NZ despite new Auckland Covid case; UK decision to offer under-30s an alternative to Oxford jab could knock confidence in Australia’s vaccine rollout. Follow updates live

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6.25am BST

The Northern Territory is offering thousands of dollars to fruit pickers who travel to the Top End and help harvest the ripening melon crop.

Coronavirus travel restrictions and closed borders have stopped foreign backpackers travelling to Australia, leaving growers desperately short of labourers to pick their fruit.

6.13am BST

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has lashed the New South Wales government’s move to rollout mass vaccination sites, saying the plan “makes no sense”.

The guild said pharmacies are set to join the rollout from phase 2a, commencing in June, and that they can support rapid delivery of the vaccine in a way mass vaccination sites can’t.

We’re trained and experienced in providing vaccination ... We have the consult rooms set up and ready to go. We’re only down the road for many Australians, who visit us at least 18 times a year on average.

So with this mass vaccination idea, how does it work if I need to go to a footy stadium for my Covid shot? Assuming I’m in a city near a footy stadium, I’d have to take time off work during the week, then have to get to the stadium in the traffic, probably with my young family in tow, wait for hours for my shot in close quarters with hundreds of others, putting us all at greater risk of community transmission, and then wait around, then to find a way home for all of us.

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