Australia has taken a monumental step in our coronavirus battle today, with the Therapeutic Goods Administration officially approving the Pfizer vaccine.
The TGA has granted provisional approval for the first COVID-19 vaccine to be used in Australia.
It’s right on schedule for the vaccine to begin rolling out by the end of February.
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It’s understood the TGA has confirmed that the two-dose Pfizer vaccine benefits are much greater than its risks.
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has this morning stressed that the proper tests have been carried out.
“I note this is not an emergency approval, as has been done in some other jurisdictions around the world.
“This is a formal approval under the ordinary processes of the TGA and we are one of the first countries in the handful of countries to have gone through that comprehensive and thorough process here in Australia to ensure the approval of that vaccine,” Mr Morrison said.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the approval exceeded some of the government’s expectations.
“It has approved it now for Australians 16 years of age and older.
“I think when last we spoke we were anticipating it might be 18 years and older.
“That is a broader range of population than anticipated. That changes our vaccination strategy, so as those 16 and above will now be included in phase 2(b),” Minister Hunt said.
The vaccine is now expected to begin rolling out in late February, with tens of thousands of doses now on the way.
“We are likely to have, on their shipping advice which they have now been able to confirm, first vaccines in Australia ready for distribution in late February.
“So within the guidance that we previously provided, that is likely to start with approximately 80,000 doses per week, if not more. Let’s be more conservative on that,” Minister Hunt said.