Australia are facing truly massive problems with their rollout, with the biggest issue right now being that quite simply nobody over 50 wants to be vaccinated due to the hugely successful campaign by their mainstream media which has convinced these people the vaccine is useless, and that they'll all get blood clots and die if they get it.
The result is that there are vaccination centres with nobody at them as the over 50's are all hanging out in hope that they'll be able to get the Pfizer vaccine at some point.
They're going to need every person in Australia capable of giving vaccines to be on board later in the year if they still want to roll out the Pfizer vaccine in a reasonable time frame once they start receiving large quantities of it.
IMHO GP's surgeries are not the ideal place to be used for mass vaccinations. It's clear it would be convenient for some people to get a jab while visiting for a regular appointment, but primary care locations such as doctors surgeries should kept for primary care. It makes a lot more sense to use dedicated pop up facilities which can be dedicated to this and typically have a lot more space to handle the full end to end process. The other aspect is that you run the very real risk of people simply booking out appointments for weeks ahead solely to get a jab because this may well exist as a loophole to get early access to the vaccine before people are called up, meaning others seeking appointments lose out.
I was very impressed at how well the centre in Wellington where I got my jab was set up. There was plenty of space for staff and vaccinators to work, and space for dedicated waiting areas before the jab, and importantly for waiting afterwards. I just can't see most pharmacies and GP surgeries being able to offer the same experience.
NZ got extremely luck with regards to placing out 2nd pfizer order before the whole very rare blood clot stuff struck astrazenica.
Even without that, it is clear that Pfizer was the better (higher trial effancy) vaccine, so there would have been sections of society that waned to hold out for pfizer here. Having only one brand means it is a simple yes / no decision, aided by the brand we have picked being one of the best there is.
Regarding GP's and Pharmacies, they run a mass vaccination campaign every year with the annual influenza vaccines. Along with workplace vaccination, 1.2m+ jabs have been delivered every year since 2015, mostly in a 2 month period.
Experience may not be as good as a dedicated center (i.e. GP waiting rooms would typically be shared by both those waiting for an injection, and those in their post vaccination observation period), but they are adequate to get the job done with flu vaccines year after year. The issues with crowding out other appointments isn't new. The GP clinic I am familiar essentially dedicates a nurse or two to the flu vaccination appointments, leaving remaining staff free for general business, and also did some overtime evening / weekend clinics to handle the initial rush.
It is they quite probable that they will do the bulk of the volume when our covid-19 vaccination program kicks into high gear.
In short, we will need all the resources we can get to have this rolled out by the end of the year, so might as well make use of this existing, willing & experienced resource.
Obviously the volume of covid-19 doses are well in excess of flu vaccination doses, so there is space for both the pop up centers and the GP's / pharmacies to work together to get the doses distributed.
Having GP clinics involved will be fairly critical to capture those with more complex medical needs (i.e. need interactions of various conditions / medication checked with the covid-19 vaccination), and those that are more hesitant, and want to talk through the pro's / cons with their trusted doctor. Also they are pretty good at talking people visiting for other reason's to get the vaccination seen as they are there already.