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No shortage of flu vaccine, Premier says

No shortage of flu vaccine, Premier says

Premier says people are getting their flu shots much earlier than usual because of the coronavirus, amid a reported shortage of the vaccine.

He said he would speak to Health Minister Stephen Wade about the shortage, after reports emerged of pharmacies cancelling appointments at the weekend.

He told ABC News this morning SA had ordered “more flu vaccines than even last year”.

“I think there’s a general high level of anxiety for people who are jumping in early to get those earlier,” he said.

“The pattern of people going to get the flu vaccine has completely changed this year, but my understanding is that we’ve got plenty of flu vaccines. We’ll have more to say about that later today.”

Mr Marshall also said SA’s COVID-19 numbers had been increased by cruise ships.

The Ruby Princess docks in NSW today, with about 200 crew members suffering coronavirus-like symptoms.

Cruise ships have resulted in 120 of SA’s cases, the majority from the Ruby Princess when it docked in Sydney last month.

“It’s a disaster, let’s be quite clear,” he said.

“The reality is that South Australia was disproportionately affected. I think now we’re over 125 infections that come off of cruise ships.

”I don’t know what it is about South Australians and cruising, but we have been disproportionately affected with well over a quarter, heading towards a third, of all of our cases from cruise (ships), and that’s really skewing our figures on the national stage.”

A criminal investigation has begun into how the Ruby Princess was allowed to disembark hundreds of passengers that brought COVID-19 into the community.

SA had two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, as the State Government said nearly 100 new paramedics would be fast-tracked into frontline service.

It also announced a historic deal with the state’s private hospitals at the weekend, underwriting them to open 1700 beds, increase SA’s intensive care unit capabilities by 40 per cent and keep medical staff in jobs.

Senior Government sources also revealed concerns about how the public system would cope if private hospitals closed after all non-elective surgeries were cancelled last week to shore up beds.

The partnership would include public-sector use of wards and theatres, essential equipment such as ventilators, as well as personal protective equipment supplies from all private hospitals.