“The eagle has landed” exclaimed Australia’s Health Minister this afternoon, confirming that the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are now in the country.
It means our rollout is on track as planned, to begin rolling out from next Monday, February 22.
It will be rolled out in a number of phases which include the AstraZeneca vaccine which is still yet to be approved.
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Phase 1a, of around 1.4 million doses, will be given to quarantine and border workers, frontline healthcare workers, aged care and disability staff and residents.
Phase 1b, of up to 14.8 million doses, will be distributed to elderly people aged 80 years and over, those aged between 70 and 79, other health care workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 55, younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability and critical and high-risk workers in defence, emergency services and meat processing personnel.
Phase 2a, of up to 15.8 million doses, will see adults between 50 and 70 years vaccinated, along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18-54.
Then phase 2b, up to 16 million doses, will be rolled out to the rest of the population.
While people under 16 years may be considered in phase 3 of the rollout if it’s recommended.
The first Pfizer #COVID19 vaccine doses have just arrived in Australia and we’re stepping up our fight against this…
Health Minister Greg Hunt says today is a very important day for the country.
“I am pleased to be able to tell Australian that shortly after midday, the first shipment of Pfizer vaccines arrived in Australia.
“They have touched down and are currently being secured, they’ll now be subject to security and quality assurance,” Minister Hunt said.
“We will be releasing, after all of these processes have been complete, approximately 80,000 doses for the first vaccines to commence in Australia on Monday the 22nd of February.
“Approximately 60 per cent of those doses will be allocated to the states,” the Health Minister said.
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