The Victorian opposition has criticised the Andrews government for â€œstockpilingâ€ COVID-19 vaccines as new data reveals the state has held onto tens of thousands of doses.
According to data released by the federal government, Victoria has the biggest stash of coronavirus vaccines of all the states and territories.
Victoria has not used more than 80,000 doses given to it by the commonwealth, with reports the state has been saving the doses amid concern about deliveries of some batches arriving late.
It comes a week after the state revealed it had not received a shipment of around 40,000 doses of the vaccine from the federal government.
But Victorian Liberal leader Michael Oâ€™Brien said the vaccine needed to be rolled out promptly.
â€œYouâ€™re not going to hurt anybody by giving people a jab who want and need one,â€ Mr Oâ€™Brien said.
â€œIf you want to get herd immunity it doesnâ€™t do any good sitting on a shelf â€“ itâ€™s got to be in peopleâ€™s arms.
â€œRoll it out.â€
The government provides doses to the states and territories, who are in charge of administering the vaccines.
Queensland came under fire last month for stockpiling vaccine doses since the start of the rollout because it did not trust the consistency of supply from the federal government.
In response, Australiaâ€™s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, said no states or territories needed to hold on to vaccine supplies for second doses, as the government had made it clear how many doses would be distributed.
But Victorian authorities last week said the state wanted better communication and consistency from federal authorities.
â€œWeâ€™re still waiting on the delivery of those doses, and clearly having that forward knowledge of how many doses are arriving and when theyâ€™re arriving is really important when trying to scale up both a sustainable and efficient system,â€ Health Minister Martin Foley said.
Further complicating the rollout is federal authorities recommending the Pfizer vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca for people aged under 50, over concerns about blood clots.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison abandoned all vaccination targets over the weekend.
â€œWe hope to be able to move into the balance of the population as we get into the second half of the year,â€ he said.