29/09/2021 - 17:00

WA wants more GPs to give virus vaccines

29/09/2021 - 17:00

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Western Australia has called for more of the state's GPs to be approved to administer COVID-19 vaccines as national figures show its trails other states in the rollout.

Roger Cook wants more GPs to be part of WA's COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Western Australia has called for more of the state's GPs to be approved to administer COVID-19 vaccines as national figures show its trails other states in the rollout.

Health Minister Roger Cook said about 700 of the state's GPs routinely administered other vaccines "year in, year out", but only about 400 had been approved by the federal government to provide coronavirus jabs.

"So there's greater scope for the primary care centres to provide the vaccine in Western Australia and significantly lift our vaccination rates," Mr Cook said on Wednesday.

"We can do better. We can lift our vaccination rates if we get more GPs with the opportunity to become part of the vaccination team.

"It's vital that they be allowed to do so."

The minister's comments came as official figures showed 64.3 per cent of WA's eligible population had received one vaccine dose and 45.9 per cent had received two doses, leaving WA trailing all the other states.

Nationally, 77.3 per cent had received one dose and 53.4 were fully vaccinated.

WA reported no new virus infections on Wednesday, but officials are monitoring the Stolt Sakura tanker currently off the state's coast.

On Tuesday, the captain notified WA Health that 12 out of 22 crew could have the virus, with most having either no or mild symptoms.

WA Health is working with the shipping agent and usual biosecurity channels to obtain further information ahead of the ship's arrival at the end of this week.

Meanwhile, a Melbourne business owner and a financial planner have faced court accused of using fake driver's licences to sneak into Perth to attend Saturday's AFL grand final.

Prahran restaurant and bar owner Hayden Burbank, 49, and finance firm managing director Mark Babbage, 38, are alleged to have flown into Perth on September 22 after arriving in Darwin from Melbourne on September 14.

They were pictured posing inside the Optus Stadium change rooms on Saturday with Melbourne player Alex Neal-Bullen after the side's drought-breaking premiership win.

The photo was posted on the AFL's official Instagram account.

The pair were arrested at Bunker Bay in the state's southwest on Tuesday morning after police issued a public appeal to track them down.

They spent the night in police detention and on Wednesday were remanded in custody to face court again on October 13. 

One of the men tested negative for COVID-19 and the other's result was inconclusive.

He was tested again and returned a negative result.

A woman, believed to be a WA resident, who was with Mr Burbank and Mr Babbage when they were arrested has also tested negative. She is unlikely to be charged.

Two other Victorian men also entered WA via South Australia for the AFL grand final. One has returned home to Melbourne, while the other has been arrested and faced Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

He also returned a negative COVID-19 test result and will remain in custody until October 8.

Mr Cook said it was particularly disappointing that the breaches of border rules by people wanting to go to the grand final were "premeditated, well-considered and meticulously carried out".

"This is not someone acting on the spur of the moment. This is actually an effort to undermine Western Australia's public health measures."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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