Drive-through jab clinics may join rollout

COVID-19 vaccinations could be delivered at drive-through hubs, stadiums and shopping centres.
COVID-19 vaccinations could be delivered at drive-through hubs, stadiums and shopping centres.

Stadiums and shops could be the next frontier of Australia's coronavirus vaccine rollout, with a plan to administer drive-through jabs being weighed up.

Despite demand still outstripping supply, the nation's rollout commander John Frewen is confident enough doses will arrive in coming months to vastly expand the program.

A new campaign document has revealed plans for mass vaccination sites, which could also include supermarkets and conference centres.

Drive-through vaccination hubs in stadium car parks could be established in mid-August with the first trials next month, before being widely used in October.

Lieutenant-General Frewen said governments would have to decide details like traffic management and the best way for people to wait the required 15 minutes after their jab.

Jabs at work are slated to start in late September before operating in most states and territories by the end of November.

Commonwealth Bank and Westpac will trial AstraZeneca vaccinations for staff and their families in Sydney's hot spots from as soon as next week.

A retail pilot, which would include shopping centres and supermarkets, could be up and running in October.

Wesfarmers - which owns Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks - offered its sites for mass vaccination hubs last month during a meeting with senior government figures.

Schools could also be used from December under state and territory government-run programs if experts approve Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.

Lieutenant-General Frewen signalled advertising campaigns would shift focus to a "national rallying" phase in coming weeks as more supplies arrive.

"There has to be a collective national sort of sense of why vaccination is important so we'll be moving to that," he told reporters in Canberra.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese triggered national debate after calling for $300 cash payments for all fully vaccinated people.

While Scott Morrison attacked the plan, Lieutenant-General Frewen did not rule out incentives once larger vaccination coverage is achieved.

"There's cash, there's the ideas of lotteries, all of these things are being discussed," he said.

But the prime minister said he had received no advice recommending cash payments were needed.

"This policy is friendless among those who are experts in this area," he said.

Mr Morrison argued the $6 billion plan would include $2.4 billion for people who have already had a vaccine.

Australia's leaders are gunning for a 70 per cent target to significantly reduce the prospect of major lockdowns and 80 per cent to all but end city-wide shutdowns.

There was a record 213,000 doses administered in the past 24 hours as the percentage of the over-16 population fully vaccinated exceeded 20 per cent.

NSW recorded another 233 new local cases on Wednesday, while a man in his 20s died from the disease at his southwest Sydney home.

A woman in her 80s died in hospital with the two latest fatalities taking the national toll to 927.

Queensland recorded 16 new locally acquired coronavirus infections.

There was one new case in Victoria, reported after the daily update, dashing hopes of the first day without local transmission since July 12.

Australian Associated Press