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GPs and pharmacists to receive more booster doses



The nation's GPs and pharmacists will receive an additional 180,000 booster doses in the first week of January, to keep up with soaring demand.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health told Nine News providers will receive around 120 extra doses, in addition to their existing orders.

"This week was a record week of deliveries, with 1.7 million doses delivered," the spokesperson said.

READ MORE: Sydney lab tells more than 400 COVID-positive people they are negative

"To meet increasing demand, primary care orders are being increased for delivery in the first week of January.

​"Further measures are also in place to help providers who may require urgent deliveries over the Christmas and New Year period."

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) announced it would reduce the timeframe between second and third doses from four months to three months from January 4.

The interval will be slashed again from four months to three months on January 31, opening the rollout to 16 million people.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters on Friday there is enough vaccine supply in the country to meet increasing demand.

"We have 20 million vaccines that are in the country now," Minister Hunt said.

READ MORE: NSW residents urged only to get tested if sick as clinics overwhelmed

Cars line up at a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney.

"More than five million that are in field, on the basis of orders.

"We've provided to the states and territories, pharmacies and GP's, all of their orders.

"They're working on a high-volume access, and if more is requested, we are happy to provide it."

More than 1.1 million vaccines are already on hand across vaccination sites in New South Wales.

Sydney General Practitioner Kean-Seng Lim told Nine News he is concerned about the strain on the workforce.

READ MORE: Sydney COVID-19 testing in 'meltdown' as clinics close on public holiday

"Come the first week of the New Year, our problem is going to be finding people to actually deliver it, since half our staff are off as close contacts and COVID-19 cases," he said.

States will also begin ramping up mass vaccination clinics in 2022.

State-run vaccine hubs dropped from 957 in November to 699, with some closing as vaccine targets were met.

The country's leaders agreed the hubs need to scale up again to meet booster demand.

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